Democratic Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer speak to the press after their second meeting this week on the subject of the government shutdown with the president at the White House.
Schumer revealed that the president is no closer to making a compromise and said he is willing to keep the government closed for "a very long period of time, months or even years."
REP. NANCY PELOSI: Good afternoon. We just completed a lengthy and sometimes contentious conversation with the president. We agreed that we will continue our conversations. But we recognize on the Democratic side that we really cannot resolve this until we open up government. We made that very clear to the president. Services are being withheld from the American people and paychecks are being withheld from people who serve the needs of the American people, and our border security will suffer if we do not resolve this issue. We are committed to keeping our border safe. That has always been our principal to honor the oath of office that we take to protect and defend our country and our constitution. We can do that best when the government is open. We made that clear to the president. Mr. Leader?
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER: I basically, same thing as what the Speaker said. The bottom line is very simple. We made a plea to the president once again. Don't hold millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of workers, hostage. Open up the government and let's continue the discussions.
I pointed out to him a call I got in my office this morning. A fire dispatcher from upstate New York. Wife is pregnant. Signed a mortgage. Can't get the FHA to approve it because the government is closed. This kind of situation is happening in millions of instances across the United States.
So we told the president we needed the government open. He resisted. In fact, he said he would keep it closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.
The discussion then, we discussed a bunch of issues as the leader said that were somewhat contentious and we will continue discussing of course, but it's very hard to see how progress will be made unless they open up the government.