US officials to make a plea to lawmakers for border wall

Vastavam web: President Donald Trump said his homeland security officials will make a plea to congressional leaders for a border wall on Wednesday and indicated he would not drop his demand for $5 billion in wall funding that triggered a partial government shutdown now in its 12th day. In comments during a Cabinet meeting, Trump also said he was open to working on a path to legal status for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants known as Dreamers, pointing towards a potential broader deal with Democrats that could resolve the shutdown.

At the Cabinet meeting, Trump said he would keep the government partially shut for “as long as it takes” while he seeks wall funding in any legislation to keep the government funded. The shutdown, which began Dec. 22, could last a “long time,” Trump said. The Cabinet meeting came ahead of a border security briefing at the White House for Democratic and Republican congressional leaders by U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials.

The briefing for lawmakers, coming on the last day that Trump’s fellow Republicans control both chambers of Congress, is set for 3 p.m. (2000 GMT) in the White House Situation Room, generally used for high-level security concerns such as military planning. Democrats take charge of the House of Representatives from Trump’s fellow Republicans when the new 2019-2020 Congress convenes on Thursday. Led by presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, they have scheduled votes on their first day in power on legislation that would end the shutdown without providing the wall funding Trump wants. Republicans retain control of the Senate.