President Donald Trump walked out of a White House meeting Wednesday with congressional leaders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, calling it a “waste of time.”
“Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump tweeted afterward. “I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”
‘He just walked out,” Schumer told reporters after he and Pelosi left the White House meeting. “He couldn’t get his way, and he just walked out of the meeting.”
"He asked speaker Pelosi, will you agree to my wall? She said no. And he just got up and said, 'then we have nothing to discuss,' and he just walked out. Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn't get his way and he just walked out of the meeting," Schumer said, describing the meeting.
Vice President Mike Pence said the president “made clear today that he is going to stand firm to achieve his priorities.”
“Democratic leaders are unwilling to even negotiate to resolve this partial government shutdown,” he added. "We hope they (Democrats) will come back to the table."
The shutdown entered its 19th day with no end in sight. Trump has demanded $5.7 billion in border funding, but Democrats haven't budged in their opposition. The House is set to vote on four bills Wednesday that would re-open shuttered government agencies, but White House advisers recommended Trump veto all legislation.
“Moving these four bills without a broader agreement to address the border crisis is unacceptable,” the White House said in a statement.
Trump reportedly brought sweets to the meeting and wanted to focus on problem-solving, according to House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, but Democrats reacted with "embarrassing" behavior.
"When we entered the room, the President, again calling all the leaders together to solve this problem. Even brought a little candy for everybody," McCarthy said. They "just want to argue."
Schumer said Democrats want to reach an agreement with Trump. Pelosi, meanwhile, told reporters the president is insensitive to the shutdown's impact on furloughed workers.
"Many people federal workers will not be receiving their paychecks and what that means in their lives is tragic in terms of their credit rating, paying their mortgage, paying their rent, paying their car payment, paying their children’s tuition," she said.
"The President seems to be insensitive to that. He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money, but they can’t."
© Copyright 2022 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.