Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, right, talks to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, while walking towards the Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.
Funding for nine U.S. departments lapsed on Dec. 22 as Trump demanded $5.7 billion to build the wall — and Democrats refused his request. Sanders did not mention a specific amount of funding the president seeks or if he still wants $5.7 billion.
Outside of McConnell’s office Thursday, Schumer said “we’re talking,” but no more to reporters. Even the dialogue marks an improvement in talks: negotiations essentially came to a halt after Trump walked out of a meeting with Schumer and Pelosi on Jan. 9.
Sanders’ statement followed the failure of two plans in the Senate — one backed by Republicans and one put forward by Democrats. The Democratic measure, which did not include funds for the barrier, earned more support, including votes from six Republicans, in the GOP-held chamber.
Trump’s offer included $5.7 billion for the wall, as well as three-year extensions of legal protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children and people fleeing crises in certain countries. Democrats called the proposal inadequate, as previous offers related to “Dreamer” immigrants included either permanent residency or path to citizenship.
A potential solution would likely involve some movement on those issues.
The financial pain felt by 800,000 federal employees is about to sharpen. On Friday, those workers will start losing their second paychecks since the partial closure started on Dec. 22.
Thousands of government employees have scrambled to pay for meals and cover their bills. The shutdown has affected various services from airports to FBI investigations and food safety inspections. As hundreds of thousands of workers face furloughs or work without pay, the shutdown is expected to reduce gross domestic product growth.
Surveys indicate most Americans see the closure as a “crisis” or at least a “problem.” They largely put the shutdown on Trump’s shoulders. As Americans seek an end to the impasse, more of them believe the president should yield rather than think congressional Democrats should, according to a CBS News poll.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.