White House: Democrats 'not serious' about reopening government

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley claimed Wednesday that Democrats in Congress are "not serious" about funding the government and ending the current shutdown, accusing them of negotiating "in the press."

"What [President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'Haven't thought about' pardons for Mueller target Pence: Rocket attack 'proves that Hamas is not a partner for peace' Conservation remains a core conservative principle MORE] wants on his desk is a bill that opens the government, that funds the government and protects the American people. And right now, the Democrats are not serious about that," Gidley said during an interview on Fox News.

ADVERTISEMENT

"And you know they’re not serious because serious people with serious plans and serious proposals don’t negotiate in the press," he added. "And that’s all that Democrats have done to this point.”

The federal government has been in a partial shutdown since Dec. 22 as lawmakers have been at odds over Trump's demand for $5 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border.

Gidley declined to say during the Fox News interview whether Trump would sign a bill that garnered Congress's approval without including funding for a wall, dismissing that scenario as a "hypothetical" that he wouldn't discuss.

House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight After Mueller, Democrats need to avoid the Javert trap More than a half-million web articles published on Russia, Trump, Mueller since investigation began: analysis MORE (Calif.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis Schumer4 in 5 Americans say they support net neutrality: poll GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar MORE (N.Y.) met Wednesday with Trump and Republican leaders at the White House, but there were no indications that the shutdown, now entering its 13th day, was nearing an end.

Democrats will regain control of the House when the 116th Congress takes office Thursday, and Pelosi — likely the next Speaker — said Democrats would move forward on a vote for a bill that doesn't include wall funding. 

Trump, meanwhile, said Wednesday that the shutdown could last for a "long time" and pledged to continue pushing for a wall. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested that the shutdown could continue for weeks, saying that he doesn't think "any particular progress" was made Wednesday during the meeting between Trump and lawmakers.

He said later Wednesday from the Senate floor that a House plan to fully reopen the federal government is a "total non-starter," comparing it to "political performance art" that will not be taken up in the Senate.