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The Latest: Trump on US spending bill: ‘Let’s get it done!’

January 3, 2019
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President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a partial government shutdown over money for President Donald Trump’s border wall (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he remains “ready and willing” to work with Democrats to pass a government spending bill even as he refuses to budge over funding for his long-promised border wall.

Trump is tweeting “Let’s get it done!” as the partial government shutdown continues with no end in sight.

Trump’s tweets on Wednesday came hours after he met with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders at the White House for a briefing on border security that, by all accounts, made zero progress.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News that Democrats cut off Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen “within five seconds” and didn’t care what she had to say.

Trump has invited the group back for a follow-up session Friday, the day after Nancy Pelosi is expected to become speaker of the House.

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5:15 p.m.

Top congressional Democrats are calling on President Donald Trump to back bills that would reopen the federal government, declaring that he was using the American people as “hostages” in the fight for a border wall.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer met Trump at the White House Wednesday for a briefing on border security.

The session did not yield any breakthroughs, and Democrats said they remained committed to introducing the legislation Thursday. The administration has so far rejected the plan, which does not include funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Schumer said Trump could not provide a “good answer” for opposing the bills. He added that Trump and Republicans “are now feeling the heat.”

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4:55 p.m.

Republican congressional leaders say the president has asked them and top Democrats to return to the White House on Friday for a second briefing on border security as the partial government shutdown continues.

Incoming House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California tells reporters that Homeland Security officials didn’t finish the briefing that the group attended on Wednesday afternoon at the White House.

McCarthy says Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer interrupted multiple times and that the president now wants them to return on Friday, after the congressional leadership races.

The partial government shutdown began on Dec. 22 after Trump refused to sign a budget deal that didn’t include billions of dollars for his long-promised and long-stalled southern border wall.

He’d described the briefing as an opportunity for border officials to make their case to Democrats on the need for a wall.

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12:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the southern border is “like a sieve,” and he’s lamenting how U.S. authorities fired tear gas into Mexico during the first hours of the new year to repel about 150 migrants trying to breach the border fence in Tijuana.

Trump spoke during a White House meeting with his Cabinet as the partial government shutdown continues into its 12th day. Congress and the president are at an impasse over funding for Trump’s pet project, a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump says a complete wall is needed. Trump says people then couldn’t enter unless they were a “champion pole vaulter.”

Trump’s statement on crossings contradicts the Department of Homeland Security. In 2000, about 1.6 million people were apprehended crossing illegally. In FY 2017, there were about 310,000.

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12:08 a.m.

Democratic and Republican congressional leaders are expected to attend a briefing on border security at the White House as the government remains partially shut down and President Donald Trump asks in a tweet, “Let’s make a deal?”

The shutdown began Dec. 22. Funding for Trump’s pet project, a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, has been the sticking point in passing budgets.

The briefing is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST Wednesday, the day before Democrats assume control of the House.

Pelosi has said that Democrats will pass legislation to reopen government but not provide funding for a wall.

The White House is calling the Democratic plan a “non-starter,” saying it fails to secure the border and puts the needs of other countries above the needs of its own citizens.

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