Donald Trump is “ready, willing and able” to negotiate an end to the partial government shutdown that stretched into its 11th day and a new calendar year on 1 January, but insists any agreement include funding for “a good old fashioned wall” on the US-Mexico border.
The political gridlock is therefore set to continue into the new session of Congress on Thursday and probably beyond, as Democrats refuse to agree to taxpayers’ money for a wall and intend to introduce their own legislation to reopen the government without such funding.
The Democrats are preparing to take control of the House of Representatives on Thursday. They will vote quickly on several bills to reopen the government, while Republicans insist they will not pass any such legislation in the Senate, which they still dominate, that the president will not sign.
Trump seemed resigned on Tuesday morning to the continuing stalemate. He tweeted: “The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall.”
Trump had earlier told Fox News in a year-end TV interview that he was “ready to go” on any deal, despite there currently being no prospect of one.
“I spent Christmas in the White House, I spent New Year’s Eve in the White House,” he said. “I’m here, I’m ready to go, it’s important. A lot of people are looking to get their paycheck.”
Adding that Democratic congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi “can come over right now” and “could’ve come over anytime” to try to hash out a solution, Trump said: “I’m ready to go whenever they want.”
Trump has not reached out to Schumer and Pelosi directly through normal political channels, however, and spent the festive period slamming them on social media and trying to blame the Democrats for the government shutdown. This despite a meeting in the Oval Office earlier in December where Trump, in a highly unusual move, told Schumer and Pelosi that he would be “proud” to take responsibility for shutting down the government over the funding row for the wall.