(CNSNews.com) – President Trump began the new year with an apparent willingness to make some kind of a deal on border wall funding.
“Border Security and the Wall 'thing' and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?" he tweeted on January 1.
The only deal offered by incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is -- money to reopen the government but no new money for Trump's long-promised wall.
In a statement on Dec. 31, Pelosi and Schumer wrote about their plan to end what they call the "Trump shutdown."
As its first order of business, the Democrat-controlled House will pass two bills on Thursday, one funding six government agencies. "This legislation reopens government services, ensures workers get the paychecks they’ve earned and restores certainty to the lives of the American people," Pelosi and Schumer wrote.
The House also will pass a continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8 while the wall funding argument drags on.
Pelosi and Schumer dared Republicans to reject their offer: “If Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans refuse to support the first bill, then they are complicit with President Trump in continuing the Trump shutdown and in holding the health and safety of the American people and workers’ paychecks hostage over the wall," they wrote.
“It would be the height of irresponsibility and political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported."
It is unclear if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would bring the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote. McConnell has said he won't advance anything the president won't sign.
President Trump, meanwhile, has invited congressional leaders to the White House today (Jan. 2), for a Department of Homeland Security briefing on the benefits of a border wall.
He tweeted about the wall throughout the Christmas-New Year holiday, remaining at the White House as Pelosi vacationed in Hawaii:
"The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall. So imaginative! The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real Border Security - and our Country must finally have a Strong and Secure Southern Border!" Trump wrote on Tuesday, Jan. 1.
On New Year's Eve, Trump tweeted: "The Democrats will probably submit a Bill, being cute as always, which gives everything away but gives NOTHING to Border Security, namely the Wall. You see, without the Wall there can be no Border Security - the Tech “stuff” is just, by comparison, meaningless bells & whistles..."
"It’s incredible how Democrats can all use their ridiculous sound bite and say that a Wall doesn’t work. It does, and properly built, almost 100%! They say it’s old technology - but so is the wheel. They now say it is immoral- but it is far more immoral for people to be dying!"
Also on Dec. 31: "I’m in the Oval Office. Democrats, come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for Border Security, including the Wall. You voted yes in 2006 and 2013. One more yes, but with me in office, I’ll get it built, and Fast!"
The president reminded Americans that "I campaigned on Border Security, which you cannot have without a strong and powerful Wall. Our Southern Border has long been an ‘Open Wound,’ where drugs, criminals (including human traffickers) and illegals would pour into our Country. Dems should get back here an fix now!"
Trump also contradicted his outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly, saying the idea of a concrete wall "was NEVER ABANDONED." Trump tweeted, "Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides). Makes sense to me!"
Trump noted that the Obamas have a "ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound. I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The U.S. needs the same thing, slightly larger version!"
And he tweeted: "For those that naively ask why didn’t the Republicans get approval to build the Wall over the last year, it is because IN THE SENATE WE NEED 10 DEMOCRAT VOTES, and they will gives us 'NONE' for Border Security! Now we have to do it the hard way, with a Shutdown. Too bad! @FoxNews"
'Trump is going to have to surrender'
One of President Trump's harshest critics in the liberal media, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, began Wednesday's "Morning Joe" with a sneer, proving that 2019 is beginning with the same anti-Trump venom that thrived in 2018.
We're in the middle of a partial government shutdown forced by Donald Trump to try and get $5 billion to build that wall on the Mexican border that he promised during the campaign. Now, let me get this straight. It is a wall that most people don't want. The data proves that.
But whatever comes from today's [White House] meeting, one thing is clear. Trump is going to have to surrender both on ending the shutdown and building a wall.
The last time Trump met with the Democratic leaders face-to-face, he proudly said he was going to own the shutdown. Well, now he does -- by stubbornly sticking to a promise that only about a quarter of Americans support, Ttrump has dug himself and his Republican Party into a very big hole.
Just as Democrats tomorrow, I believe -- yep, tomorrow -- they're taking control of the House. The reality is, Trump's my-way-or-highway obsession with the wall has been, for months, nothing more than a fantasy. And a self-inflicted wound for himself and also for his party, the Republican Party.
Today is John Kelly's final day as White House chief of staff, and he's talking. He's already told the Los Angeles Times a lot of stuff, including that the other day he said that the idea of a concrete wall on the border had been rejected long ago by homeland security experts who work in the administration.
So the advice to the president is, it's not a good idea -- from his own team. Trump has absolutely no leverage, none! And many Republicans are furious that he has left them in political peril for absolutely no good reason. Promising a wall that Mexico would pay for might have helped Trump get the nomination, might have been that read meat, but right now, it's the president, not Democrats who are walled in, or boxed in, so to speak.