- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Democratic leaders emerged from a White House meeting Wednesday to say they’ll plow ahead with spending bills this week that have already been rejected by the GOP, signaling that a change in Congress doesn’t mean a quick end to the government shutdown.

Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi led a contingent of her party to the Situation Room at the White House where they were to receive a briefing on the need for a border wall.

But the conversation quickly devolved into political sniping, according to attendees, with no substantive discussion of a deal on President Trump’s demand for $5 billion in border wall money.

Democrats say they won’t negotiate until the 25 percent of government that lost funding on Dec. 22 is restored. They will offer a plan Thursday that would fund eight of the nine shuttered departments for all of 2019, and fund Homeland Security through Feb. 8.

That, they said, will separate the wall fight from the rest of government — and they said it mirrors a plan Senate Republicans have previously backed.

“We have given the Republicans a chance to take yes for an answer,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

Democrats brushed aside pointed questions from reporters about their reluctance to engage in negotiations.

The White House has already rejected the Democratic plan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the next vote he holds on the chamber floor will have to be on a deal that has the sign-off of Mr. Trump, as well as Democratic leaders. That would appear to rule out action on Mrs. Pelosi’s bill.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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