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Biden: Rush Limbaugh and the 'conservative blonde woman' to blame for shutdown
Former Vice President Joe Biden blamed media host Rush Limbaugh and "the conservative blonde woman" for President Trump's decision to refuse to sign a funding bill that didn't include $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Republicans overwhelmingly voted to keep the government open. Then Rush Limbaugh and the conservative blonde woman says he's losing his base, and so he's changed his mind," Biden told CNN on Friday, apparently referring to conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
Congress last month had been poised to pass a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open until February. But, facing pointed criticism from Limbaugh and Coulter, who warned against capitulating on his demand for border wall funding, Trump changed course, announcing he would veto any bill without wall funding.
The White House and lawmakers were unable to resolve an impasse over border wall funding, leading the government to shut down on Dec. 22.
The shutdown, now in its 15th day, closed roughly 25 percent of the government, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce, Justice, Interior and State. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have either been furloughed or forced to work without pay for the time being.
Trump dug in on Friday on his demand for $5.6 billion to fund his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall as part of any deal to end the shutdown. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have both said they would not agree to allocate any additional funds for the wall.
Trump on Friday also threatened to keep the government shut down for years until he gets his desired funding to build the border wall. He later said he "may" declare a national emergency to build the wall.
Congressional leaders will meet with Trump on Saturday morning for the third time this week for negotiations on the shutdown. Lawmakers met with the president behind closed doors at the White House on Friday for a meeting Pelosi called "contentious" and Trump called "productive."
Biden, considered a possible 2020 presidential contender, has cast himself as a staunch opponent of Trump, often denouncing the president and his administration's policies.