WASHINGTON D.C. (ABC4 News)- President Trump says after meeting with congressional leaders he believes a deal to re-open the federal government is within reach.
“We’re all on the same path in terms of wanting to get the government open,” he said.
But he says he’s willing to keep the government shutdown for months, even years until Congress spends money on a border wall.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the meeting with the president was contentious but productive.
“We made a plea to the President once again: Don’t hold millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of workers hostage. Open up the government, and let’s continue the discussions,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said.
The shutdown has impacted an estimated 800,000 government employees with many either being forced to work without pay or not work at all.
When asked what those workers should do in the meantime the president told ABC4 News’ Political Correspondent Mark Meredith he’s been a landlord for a long time and he thinks the landlords and bill collectors will go easy on the workers going without pay.
Trump has asked Vice President Pence to lead negotiations with Congressional leaders over the weekend and the president says he expects to invite the group back to the White House for more talks next week.