Trump "willing to negotiate" on border wall, Sarah Sanders says
As the partial government shutdown enters day seven, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told "CBS This Morning" that President Trump is "willing to negotiate" with Democrats on the $5 billion he is requesting to fund his southern border wall.
Sanders blasted Democrats for the standoff that is now expected to keep roughly 800,000 federal workers from receiving paychecks into the New Year, claiming they have "left the table altogether," but not offering details on what the president might be willing to agree to.
"I'm not going to negotiate in the press, but the president has been willing to negotiate on this point and the Democrats have not been willing to do anything," Sanders said. "It's a very sad day when we can't get Democrats to even show up for work and sit down with us and have these conversations and try to help make real solutions and get something done."
Congress reconvened Thursday following the Christmas break, but few lawmakers showed up on Capitol Hill with the House and Senate in session for a combined six minutes and 36 seconds.
One federal worker told CBS News that she lives paycheck to paycheck, highlighting what's at stake for hundreds of thousands of government workers as the standoff heads into the New Year.
"Nobody wants anybody to struggle. Nobody wants the government to be closed, that's why we're asking Democrats to sit down and negotiate something they actually support. The real question here is, Nancy Pelosi is only looking to protect her speakership and not protect her borders and that's why she's unwilling to negotiate with us and unwilling to make any type of a deal and unwilling to help do what is necessary," Sanders said.
On Friday morning, President Trump threatened on Twitter to "close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall."
Sanders also addressed the second death this month of a migrant child in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody, calling it a "terrible tragedy" and pointing to it as an example of why the U.S. needs to protect its borders. She did not give specifics of what the Trump administration is doing to prevent more deaths.
"We want to everything we can to protect life but at the same time this is the exact reason that we want people to come through the legal process and not make this treacherous journey. A third of the women that come through this journey are raped or sexually assaulted and these are horrific things that nobody wants to see happen. That's why we have to close up loopholes that's why we need to fix the broken immigration system," she said.
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