Rank-and-file Democrats rejected the president’s invitation to talks at the White House, remaining unified in opposition to a border wall.
The standstill underscores the dysfunction gripping Washington and the president’s seeming indifference to shuttered federal agencies.
The group is meeting with the shutdown in its fourth week and talks between congressional leaders and the White House at a standstill.
The president reversed days of signals that he might soon declare the emergency amid the protracted standoff with Democrats.
Administration eyes civil works projects under Army Corps of Engineers budget.
Asked how long he was willing to let the shutdown go on, the president replied: “Whatever it takes.”
The administration’s lobbying came ahead of a nationally televised speech by Trump as he weighs declaring a national emergency to build the wall.
Even bipartisan bills could get blocked in the Senate unless Majority Leader McConnell passes legislation to reopen the government.
The president claims he has the power to declare the national emergency to build a border wall without Congress — while also vowing to keep the shutdown going.
"I have no commitments or anything there," the U.S. Senate candidate says.