Trump digs in on border fight as shutdown stalemate drags on

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE on Saturday dug in on his demand for border wall funding to end the partial government shutdown after meeting with several of his conservative allies in Congress.
 
“The crisis of illegal activity at our Southern Border is real and will not stop until we build a great Steel Barrier or Wall. Let work begin!” Trump tweeted following the lunch meeting at the White House.
 
Around an hour earlier, a senior administration official told reporters that Trump does not intend to back down from his request for $5 billion in funding for “physical barriers" along the U.S.-Mexico border.
ADVERTISEMENT

“We're not going to negotiate over the phone as to what he would accept. That continues to be what this president is pushing for,” the official added when asked if the president would accept $1.6 billion instead.
 
The Senate adjourned later Saturday without a deal in place and is scheduled to meet again after Christmas, ensuring the shutdown will continue for several more days. 
 
The president decided to bunker down with members of his own party who largely support his push for border wall funding as lawmakers returned to the Capitol in search of a deal to end the partial shutdown that began at midnight.
 
Trump and Democrats remain stuck in a stalemate over the $5 billion in border wall money.
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal GOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default MORE (Ala.) also attended, along with Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet Why Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Memo: Toxic 2020 is unavoidable conclusion from Trump tweets MORE (S.C.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate ratifies long-stalled tax treaty On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Liberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow MORE (Utah). 
 
 
Top Republicans on Capitol Hill said it is imperative that the White House attracts Democratic support to end the funding impasse.
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout MORE (R-Ky.) said Saturday that senators have “pushed the pause button” until Trump and Senate Democrats “reach an agreement.”
  
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US Colombian official urges more help for Venezuelan migrants MORE (D-N.Y.) on Saturday said his party is “open to discussing any proposals with the president as long as they do not include funding for the wall.”
 
Pence traveled to the Capitol to brief Schumer on the lunch after it concluded.
 
Trump earlier Saturday pushed back against critics of his shutdown strategy, tweeting that “we are negotiating with the Democrats on desperately needed Border Security (Gangs, Drugs, Human Trafficking & more).”
 
He also repeated his warning about a lengthy shutdown, writing “it could be a long stay.”
 
While both the Senate and House are in session, it remains unclear when a vote might take place on a deal to reopen federal agencies, all but guaranteeing that about a quarter of the federal government will remain shuttered in the days before Christmas. 
 
The senior administration official said the government is working to ensure the shutdown “is painless as possible,” saying that services such as airport security screenings, food safety inspections will continue and national parks and the Smithsonian Institution will remain open. 

The official declined to say how many federal workers will be furloughed when they are scheduled to return to work after Christmas, but said that 15 percent of the workforce could be affected in some form.
 
Updated: 4:30 p.m.