Prior to a meeting between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Democrats on Wednesday that they have to offer a new proposal to reopen parts of the government, which has been shut down for over 3 weeks now.
“They were no-shows yesterday,” Sanders said of congressional Democrats during a Fox & Friends appearance.
“Hopefully this meeting today can be somewhat different. But at the same time they’ve shown us they’re unwilling to negotiate in good faith,” she added.
The President invited Tuesday members of a more moderate House Democratic caucus in an effort to negotiate a border security deal to end the partial government shutdown, but none appeared at the meeting.
President Trump is to hold a meeting Wednesday with the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, though it’s unclear who in the group has agreed to attend.
“The President will negotiate but, at this point, he’s not going to negotiate with himself. He’s the only one that has a proposal on the table. Democrats have yet to put anything forward other than obstruction,” Sanders added.
She stressed that Trump would not back down and called on Democrats to work with him.
The Democrat-controlled House has passed a number of measures to reopen individual government agencies, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted the bills will not receive a vote in the Senate without Trump’s endorsement.
In recent days, a bipartisan group of senators has held talks aimed at reaching an agreement to end the shutdown, but little progress has been made and they appear to be deadlocked.
Sanders noted the White House would consider a proposal that comes out of the Senate but pointed out that it would need to address border security measures. The President has demanded $5.7 billion in funding for his long-sought border wall along, but Democrats have repeatedly said it was a non-starter.