Donald Trump to meet legislators as shutdown enters 25th day
President invites 'moderate' Democratic members of Congress to lunch at White House as bipartisan group of senators seeks agreement to help reopen the government
President Donald Trump will meet members of Congress at the White House on Tuesday as the partial US government shutdown enters a 25th day without resolution amid a standoff over border wall funding.
Trump is scheduled to host the legislators for lunch, according to his public schedule, which did not say who was attending. "Moderate" House Democrats were invited, CNN and Politico reported.
Representatives of the White House and congressional leaders did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress have shown no signs of bending on wall funding, but the Washington Post on Monday reported a new bipartisan group of US senators was searching for agreement to help end the partial shutdown.
Trump, who has demanded $5.7bn from Congress to build his wall on the US-Mexican border, on Monday rejected a call by fellow Republicans to temporarily reopen the government while talks continued on border security issues.
He campaigned in 2016 on a promise of building a wall to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Recently, he raised the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get around Congress to secure funding for the wall, but then he said he would prefer Congress to act.
Democrats, who took over the US House of Representatives this month, have rejected the border wall, but back other border security measures.
House Democrats have passed bills to fund the about a quarter of federal operations that have been closed, but Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said the chamber would not consider legislation that Trump would not sign into law.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on Monday called on McConnell to move forward, suggesting that Congress go around the president.
The partial shutdown is the longest in US history and it is beginning to reverberate across the country.
Longer lines have formed at some airports as more security screeners fail to show up for work while food and drug inspections have been curtailed and farmers, stung by recent trade spats, have been unable to receive federal aid.
The shutdown began on December 22 and its impact is worrying some on Wall Street. About 800,000 federal employees are feeling the financial sting after missing their first pay cheques last week, a loss of income expected to have ripple effects.
Speaking on CNBC, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said the partial shutdown would cost the airline $25m in lost revenue in January with fewer government contractors travelling.
Other US airlines are also unable to open new routes or use new airplanes because they need certification from federal officials who are furloughed.
Companies, already concerned about a global economic uncertainty, have urged Republicans and Democrats to end the stalemate.