Trump invites top lawmakers for border briefing

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While providing additional money for border fencing and other border security, the spending bill package would not provide funding for the president's long-desired concrete border wall, which in recent weeks has transformed into a wall with "steel slats".

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the specifics of the briefing.

President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday the USA federal government may not fully reopen any time soon, as he stood firm on his demand for billions of dollars in funding for a border wall with Mexico.

About a quarter of the federal government is shut down, with roughly 800,000 workers affected.

Raising the stakes in his tussle with the newly emboldened Democrats, Trump threatened extraordinary measures to build the wall, which he says is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into the United States.

The House and Senate will reconvene briefly on Wednesday to mark the last day of the Republican-controlled 2017-2018 Congress, with no signs of a workable plan to end the shutdown, which is now in its second week.

"The fact is, a wall is an immorality", Pelosi continued, standing firmly against the president's push for border wall funding.

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A reporter asked Trump whether he had considered declaring a national emergency to build the wall.

According to Trump, the immigration problem is so dire that he would be able to grant himself emergency powers and, consequently, build the wall "very quickly", thus superseding Congress' decision to block the $5 billion budget request.

"We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely", he said.

Trump is set to meet top Democratic lawmakers Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in a bid to break the long impasse.

The second part of the package would fund federal agencies that are now unfunded, such as the Justice, Commerce and Transportation departments, through September 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat, asked the Internal Revenue Service in a letter on Friday to explain the possible effects of the shutdown on the upcoming tax filing season for millions of Americans.

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