Political News

New year, new Congress, same shutdown

Posted January 4, 2019 7:32 p.m. EST

— President Donald Trump said Friday that he's prepared for the government shutdown to last for months or even years ... but could it actually?

The shutdown that now leaves garbage piling up in federal parks across the country and 800,000 federal workers without paychecks has already rolled into the new year.

And just because there's a whole crop of new House members and senators doesn't mean the stalemate in Washington is changing anytime soon. In fact, it makes a quick resolution even less likely.

Emerging from his and newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's second meeting with Trump this week (not televised this time), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters that Trump threatened to "keep the government closed for a very long period of time -- months or even years."

Trump then confirmed he wouldn't budge, saying he's prepared for the government to be shut down for years, if necessary. The President said the $5 billion he wants for border wall funding is "absolutely critical to border security, and national security is a wall or a physical barrier that prevents entry in the first place,." He added that he would even consider declaring a national emergency on border security to resolve the issue if he can't come to an agreement with congressional Democrats.

Meanwhile, Capitol Hill felt like the first day of school Thursday, as hundreds of members of Congress, their staffers, families and supporters descended for the kickoff of the 116th Congress.

The Point: Here's to hoping the President/newly minted legislators' New Year's resolutions are to end the shutdown this year -- or this could go on for a while.

Here's the week in headlines:

Monday:

NYT: Trump gives military four months to leave SyriaJames Mattis and anti-ISIS envoy bid farewell to Trump administrationTrump on Syria withdrawal: 'Just doing what I said I was going to do'Trump claims he has not 'abandoned' a concrete border wall

Tuesday:

Trump attacks McChrystal after retired general called Trump immoral

Wednesday:

Source: Trump tells Schumer he can't accept Dems' offerTrump downplays market swings amid growing economic anxietyTrump says he 'essentially' fired MattisTrump says they are working to set up 2nd Kim Jong Un meetingTrump fires back at Mitt Romney for scathing op-ed

Thursday:

Mike Pence: 'No wall, no deal' to end partial government shutdownPelosi invites Trump to deliver State of the Union on January 29Trump's press 'briefing' that wasn'tTrump flaunts Kim letter during doomed shutdown talksNYT: Democrat Jim Webb being floated for defense secretaryUS scouting sites for 2nd Trump-Kim summitTrump adviser warns more US companies will suffer in China trade warUS national debt reaches a new high under Trump

Friday:

Trump confirms he said he could keep shutdown going for monthsPence, top aides set to get raises amid shutdown, federal pay freezeVA Secretary didn't disclose pro-Confederate associationsTrump says he is considering using emergency powers to build wall