Day 24 of the longest partial government shutdown in U.S history. 800,000 federal workers were either working without pay or forced to stay home.
The impasse was over President Trump’s demand for money to build a wall on the border with Mexico. CGTN’s Nathan King detailed more in a report.
Snow was on the ground at the White House after a winter storm. A fitting symbol, perhaps, for a government still frozen over funding for President Donald Trump’s wall. “I don’t know if we are close to a deal. This should be the easiest deal that I’ve ever seen. We are talking about border security. Who could be against it?” Trump said.
If anything, negotiations were going backwards, with Trump rejecting calls from some in his own party to reopen the government, if only temporarily. Last week’s White House talks between Republicans and Democrats broke up with accusations of temper tantrums and broken promises.
The U.S. president’s trip to the southern border seemed to have failed to generate more public support. A recent poll found 53 percent of Americans blame the U.S. President and his party for the shutdown. 29 percent faulted the Democrats.
The Democrats were doubling down, too; blaming the president for holding the country hostage as many airports feel the effects of sick days taken by workers fed up with having to work without a paycheck. “We should call it what it is – this president has effectively taken our government hostage simply because he won’t and can’t get his way. It is time for us to reopen the government,” Rep. Joe Neguse, D-CO, said.
There were signs of hope. A small, but growing group of lawmakers from both parties said “enough is enough” and pushed their leaders to reach a deal. But, so far, they weren’t listening.