Trump ‘not backing off’ on shutdown

(BBC) – The White House says the president “isn’t going to back off” as he meets congressional leaders for talks on the partial government shutdown.

President Donald Trump is refusing to sign any budget without funding for a US-Mexico border wall, which Democrats are adamantly against.

The House of Representatives passed a bill to reopen the government, but the Senate has rejected it.

Around 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since 22 December.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle are negotiating with Mr Trump on Friday morning.

The White House and top Democrats have shown little sign of backing down since holding their first meeting earlier this week over the partial government shutdown.

Democrats, who now hold the majority in the House, passed spending bills on Thursday to reopen the government, including $1.3bn (£1bn) of border security funds until 8 February.

But the legislation cannot take effect unless it passes the Republican-controlled Senate, where leader Mitch McConnell said his party would not back any measures without the president’s support.

The Kentucky senator called the Democratic budget “a time-wasting act of political posturing”.