Today, President Trump is set to meet with congressional leaders in order to hash out a deal to end the government shutdown.
Today’s high stakes meeting to end shutdown
The main point of contention remains the same: Trump’s demand for $5 billion in border wall funding. In order to get the funding, any government funding bill needs to receive 60 votes in the Senate – which is nine more than Republicans currently have.
So far, Democrats have been intransigent in their resistance to funding the border wall. They’ve dug in their heels, leaving the government shuttered.
Before the meeting starts this morning, Trump let fly over Twitter how Mexico will pay for the wall ultimately, in a more roundabout way:
Mexico is paying for the Wall through the new USMCA Trade Deal. Much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built. We have done a lot of work. $5.6 Billion Dollars that House has approved is very little in comparison to the benefits of National Security. Quick payback!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2019
The Situation Room gambit
It’ll be interesting to see if Trump uses this reasoning as he negotiates a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Democrat leaders of both congressional chambers. But, for now, we have an inkling of what Trump’s deal-making plan may be before the meeting begins. Axios has the scoop:
On Day 12 of the shutdown, President Trump plans to hold today’s meeting with congressional leaders in the Situation Room as a way of dramatizing security concerns at the border, according to Hill sources in both parties.
The big picture: Top House and Senate leaders from both parties RSVP’d “yes” to yesterday’s invitation and will attend, I’m told. Talks were on ice over the holidays, lending drama to face-to-face negotiations despite widespread skepticism about a breakthrough.