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Trump aides call on Democrats to make counter-offer on shutdown

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 12/30/2018 David Jackson
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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s aides and congressional Democrats continued to assail each other on Sunday over the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall that triggered a partial government shutdown - now in its ninth day.

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said Trump is waiting for counter-offers from Democrats about a proposed spending plan that includes money for a wall and other border security measures.

"He's ready to receive a counter-offer from the Democrats," Conway said on Fox News Sunday, declining to provide details on what Trump would or would not accept.

Congressional Democrats said Trump knows they will not support federal money for his proposed wall. They added that the president is the one who refused to endorse a spending plan worked out this month by bipartisan leaders in Congress, and once said he was willing to shut down the government over the wall and his version of border security.

"The president moved the goalposts," said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, speaking on CBS' Face The Nation.

For his part, Trump tweeted out a poll result showing that 62 percent of veterans support his handling of border security.

Trump has refused to sign any kind of spending bill that does not include more than $5 billion for the wall and border security measures. The last spending bill expired at midnight on Dec. 22, starting the latest shutdown of certain government agencies.

The Republican-run House did pass a bill to Trump’s liking, but Democrats in the Senate blocked its passage. The new Congress convenes on Thursday, with Democrats taking control as the majority.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, told CNN's State of the Union that Trump "is not going to walk away from this fight without border security funding, money for the wall."

Donald Trump et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie: President Donald Trump © Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. President Donald Trump

During days of back-and-forth, Trump and his aides threatened to close down the entire southern border, and suggested that the budget standoff could continue for weeks.

In Sunday show interviews, Conway said there is more to Trump’s border security agenda than a wall.

While "there may be a wall in some places," Conway told Fox News that "there may be steel slats, there may be technological enhancements. But only saying ‘wall or no wall’ is being very disingenuous and turning a complete blind eye to what is a crisis at the border."

Conway also mocked presumed incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for vacationing in Hawaii, saying the California Democrat needs “less hula, more moola.”

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, told CBS' Face The Nation that “our negotiations are at an mpasse,” and both sides are starting to look “silly.”

Contributing: Will Cummings

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump aides call on Democrats to make counter-offer on shutdown

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