Donald Trump says government shutdown could last 'a long time'

These Dems will make life harder for Trump

So far, House Democrats appear largely unified in their plan to vote to reopen government without the money Trump is demanding to build the border wall.

The visit by Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer would be their first to the White House since their sharp exchange with Trump in the Oval Office on December 11 during which the president told them he would be "proud to shut down the government for border security".

The partial shutdown is affecting about a quarter of the federal government, and 800,000 federal employees.

Stirewalt said that Trump needs to figure out what he and his administration are willing to give up to end the shutdown altogether.

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Adding to the uncertainty in Washington, an incoming senator, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, lashed out at Trump on Tuesday in an opinion piece in The Washington Post.

The government partially shut down before Christmas after Democrats refused to give Trump $5 billion in border wall funding needed for America's security. How many more times can we say no? He called the border a "sieve", rebutted Democratic complaints that a wall was immoral, provided an estimate of the USA illegal immigrant population far higher than the figures most experts cite and made disputed comments about progress toward building a wall.

Even if only symbolic, the passage of the bills in the House would put fresh pressure on the President.

Democrats said they asked Trump directly during Wednesday's private meeting held in the Situation Room why he wouldn't consider their package of bills. Some Republicans in the House may end up voting for the bill, and there's a possibility that if the shutdown drags on for long enough, Senate Republicans could pass the bill and both chambers could override Trump's veto. Traditionally, senior administration officials have used these gatherings to review their agenda for the year, though Trump is likely to steer discussion towards immigration and his fight with Democrats about the border wall, based on his comments in recent days.

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"It could be a long time", Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting, "or it could be quickly". We're giving him a Republican path to do that. Trump could actually make this worse by offering something like a DACA deal and daring Democrats to reject it.

It's a cold opening for the new majority, setting up an early confrontation with the Republican-led Senate and the White House and testing the House Democrats' ability to make good on their campaign pledge to focus on kitchen-table issues in the new era of divided government.

Even if Democrats believe some of Trump's actions, including Trump's reported hush money payments to women during the 2016 campaign, clear the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanors", Pelosi has downplayed the prospects of impeachment.

Democrats vow to stay united as they work to reopen government, and press on with the priorities. That was 30 years ago ...

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Republican Representative Steve Scalise called on Democrats on Wednesday to come to an agreement and accused them of "playing games with the safety of our country". Graham, whose every action should be viewed through the lens of the 2020 primary challenge of which he lives in terror, recently justified his stubbornness by explaining that the wall has become a "metaphor" for "border security", which is (1) not what "metaphor" means and (2) as transparent as a disclosure of one's own terminal vacuousness can get.

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