President Trump will speak in the Rose Garden about the partial government shutdown at 1:30 p.m ET on Friday — an indication that a possible short-term deal may have been reached to end the stalemate, even as reports emerged that there is no funding for a border wall in the deal.
“The President will make remarks regarding the shutdown in the Rose Garden today at 1:30pm,” Sanders tweeted. It was not immediately clear what Trump would say, but White House officials told Fox News that the situation was still in flux.
Meanwhile, another well-placed source told Fox News that negotiators were close on a continuing resolution to fund the government through February 15th with no funding for the wall. It would mark a significant win for House Democrats, despite Trump saying Republicans would not “cave” just a day earlier.
The shutdown was sparked by disagreement over President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall or steel barrier on the southern border. Democrats countered initially with $1.3 billion for general border security, while Trump said initially he would not sign anything without wall funding.
In the last few weeks, the fight turned particularly nasty — with Trump canceling a Democratic congressional trip to Afghanistan after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Trump to delay his State of the Union address or submit it in writing. Trump announced Thursday that he would delay the address.
After bills to re-open the government failed in the Senate Thursday, Trump signaled that a “large down payment” on funding, potentially less than the $5.7 billion, could be sufficient to end the stalemate. He suggested that a “prorated down payment” on the wall, without providing a concrete dollar figure, could be viable.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had also suggested that a three-week continuing resolution could be the way forward.
“If they come to a reasonable agreement, I would support that,” Trump told reporters.
The partial closure of the government has led to hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed or working without pay, with groups representing the workers increasing their calls for D.C. to end the deadlock and get workers paid again. Many workers missed their second paycheck on Friday.
Every former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, including former White House chief of staff John Kelly, sent a letter to the president and Congress on Thursday asking them restore the department’s funding.
“DHS employees who protect the traveling public, investigate and counter terrorism, and protect critical infrastructure should not have to rely on the charitable generosity of others for assistance in feeding their families and paying their bills while they steadfastly focus on the mission at hand,” the letter said. “This is unconscionable.”
President Trump on Saturday announced a compromise plan that funded the wall while extending protections for 700,000 illegal immigrants brought to the country as children and 300,000 immigrants from countries designated unsafe to return. However, Democrats rejected the plan even before Trump announced it, and a Senate version of the plan failed to get the 60 votes needed on Thursday. A second bill, already passed by the Democrat-controlled House to re-open the government, also fell short.
On Thursday, Trump had promised that Republicans “will not cave” on border wall demands.
Fox News’ John Roberts, Mike Emanuel, Alex Pappas anbd Gregg Re contributed to this report.