Schumer: Trump Willing to Keep Government Closed for 'Months or Even Years'

January 4, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Friday that President Donald Trump is willing to keep the government closed for "months or even years."

Schumer’s comments came while speaking alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) outside the White House after the pair met with the president to negotiate over his refusal to pass a budget unless it includes funding for increased border security, to include funds for the southern border wall.

"We told the president we needed the government open. He resisted. In fact, he said he would keep it closed for a very long period of time, months or even years," Schumer said. "In the discussion then, we discussed a bunch of issues that were contentious, and we will continue discussing, of course, but it's very hard to see how progress will be made unless they open up the government."

Pelosi said the situation on border security can only be resolved if the partial government shutdown ends.

"We really cannot resolve this until we open up government," Pelosi said. "We made that very clear to the president. Services are being withheld from the American people, and paychecks are being held with help from people who served the needs of the American people and our border security will suffer if we do not resolve this issue."

When asked if Democrats made any progress at all in the meeting, Pelosi responded, "How do you define progress? When you have a better understanding of each other's position? When you eliminate some possibilities? If that's a judgment, then yes, we made progress."