Trump remains firm on wall, no House votes on Thursday

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE on Wednesday reiterated his demand that $5 billion for a border wall be included in any spending legislation that would end a partial government shutdown that is now in its fifth day.

“Whatever it takes. We need a wall. We need safety for our country. Even from this standpoint. We have terrorists coming in through the southern border,” he told reporters during an unannounced trip to Iraq to visit with U.S. troops.

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Trump added that he intends to hold a "groundbreaking" at the U.S. border with Mexico before next year’s State of the Union address.

The border wall has been the focal point of negotiations between Congress and the White House. The Senate last week passed a government funding bill without border wall funding, and Trump declared the next day, after facing pressure from conservative allies, that he would not sign a spending bill that doesn't include money for his signature campaign promise.

The House then passed a bill with $5.7 billion in wall funding, though it was considered dead on arrival in the Senate, where it's unlikely to receive the 60 votes needed to advance.

Democrats in both chambers have declared their opposition to the border wall, with House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Julián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Swalwell on impeachment: 'We're on that road' after Mueller report MORE (Calif.) calling it a “non-starter.” 

“Nancy Pelosi is calling the shots, not Chuck," Trump said on Wednesday, referring to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage MORE (D-N.Y.). "And Chuck wants to have this done, I really believe that. But she’s calling the shots, and she’s calling them because she wants the votes and probably if they do something she’s not going to get the votes and she’s not going to Speaker of the House and that would not be good for her.”

In the latest sign that the two sides are not close to striking a deal, House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph Scalise20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform GOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure This week: Democrats revive net neutrality fight MORE’s (R-La.) office said Wednesday that no votes in the House are expected on Thursday and that members will get 24 hours' notice when they need to return to Washington for legislative matters.

The partial shutdown has resulted in hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees.

If the shutdown extends into next week, Democrats will have significantly more leverage in negotiations starting Jan. 3, when the party takes control of the House. Conservatives have suggested that current negotiations represent Trump’s last chance to make good on his promise for a border wall.

Trump has blamed Democrats for the shutdown, saying they support “open borders” and are against border security. The president previously said he would be “proud” to shut down the government over wall funding.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” Trump told Pelosi and Schumer earlier this month. “I will take the mantle. I will shut it down, I’m not going to blame you for it.”

--This report was updated on Dec. 27 at 6:17 a.m.