As the partial government shutdown reached its 13th day on Thursday, the White House said newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be responsible for brokering a deal with President Trump to reopen the government. "Her test of leadership will be: Can she control the radical progressives who support open borders and can she successfully negotiate opening the government and working with President Trump?" White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp told reporters on Thursday.
After recapturing the speaker's gavel, Pelosi vowed to pass six appropriations bills in the House to fund most of the government and a continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until Feb. 8. The Democratic-controlled House is scheduled to vote on these bills Thursday night.
Two Republican senators suggested they're open to supporting the spending bills which House Democrats are likely to pass. "My goal is to get government reopened as fast as possible. And six of those bills, we've got agreements on and so I'd like to see those signed into law," moderate GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told POLITICO. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, said he would back a continuing resolution without any border wall funding to end the shutdown.
Because Democrats' proposals do not include any additional funding to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, it is unlikely that they will be backed by the White House. Schlapp said the president preferred long-term budget legislation to fund all agencies for an entire year, over a short-term spending measure.
"DHS is part of the federal government, they should be able to be funded as well," she said. "And as the president has made it clear, he wants to make sure that there is border wall funding included."
After administering the oath of office for the new class of senators, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters the White House planned to meet with top Republicans and Democrats on Friday. "We're going to continue to engage Democrats and Republicans to come together and to achieve the kind of agreement that will provide the border security that the American people need," Pence said. "That means the wall, that means a physical barrier but also a broad range of border security measures that will make our country more secure."
The White House invited congressional leaders to meet late Friday morning, CBS News confirmed, and Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accepted the invitation, though there's no assurance either side will budge on their demands.
that included the president, Pelosi, Schumer and Republican leadership yielded no results.
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, said on Thursday the shutdown could last "months and months."
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said Mr. Trump can showcase "real historic leadership" by ending the impasse in budget negotiations on Capitol Hill.
"I think it could be his Reagan to the Berlin wall, or Nixon to China moment. I think one way to resolve this shutdown is for the president to sit down with the new congress and say let's get this done," the Tennessee Republican told reporters Thursday.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said it is up to the president to reopen the government. "The length of the shutdown is dependent solely and simply on one person, Donald Trump. And anybody who can read Donald Trump's mind may well eventually win some kind of Nobel prize," he said.
Alan He, Kathryn Watson and Sara Cook contributed to this report.