White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said “We are far apart.” Trump has signaled his willingness to compromise on the amount of funding, but he will not give in to the Democrats’ demand of zero funds for the border wall. Trump’s latest tweet storm makes it pretty clear he will not sign a spending bill unless it provides funding for a wall. (Please see tweet chain below.)

The President has threatened to close the border entirely if Democrats remain closed to a compromise. Still, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi remain “adamant that they will not authorize money for the project, calling it wasteful and ineffective.” This statement comes to us from the same people who brought us the $3 billion “Cash for Clunkers” program.

Breitbart News reports the latest White House theory on the Democrats’ refusal to negotiate.

Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said Democrats are no longer negotiating with the administration over an earlier offer by the White House to accept less than the $5 billion Trump wants for the wall.

Democrats said the White House offered to accept $2.5 billion for border security, but that Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told Vice President Mike Pence that it wasn’t acceptable. It was also not guaranteed that Trump would settle for that amount.

“There’s not a single Democrat talking to the president of the United States about this deal,” Mulvaney said Friday.

Speaking on Fox News and later to reporters, he tried to drive a wedge between Democrats, pinning the blame on House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Mulvaney said Schumer was “really interested in doing a deal and coming to some sort of compromise” but he understood that Pelosi was at risk of losing the speakership of the House if she went along. “So we’re in this for the long haul,” he said.

In fact, Pelosi has all but locked up the support she needs to win the speaker’s gavel Thursday and there has been no sign that she and Schumer are in conflict.

“For the White House to try and blame anyone but the president for this shutdown doesn’t pass the laugh test,” said Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer.

Pelosi has vowed to pass legislation to reopen the nine shuttered departments and dozens of agencies now hit by the partial shutdown as soon as she takes the gavel, which is expected when the new Congress convenes. But that alone won’t solve the shutdown, absent Senate approval and Trump’s signature.

All that aside, Trump is hardly asking for the moon. He is open to compromise, which is the way things get done in Washington, but the Democrats are not.

President Trump strongly believes (correctly) that construction of a border wall will significantly reduce the large numbers of people who try to enter the United States illegally. Democrats are underestimating the importance of border security to the American people. Support for the construction of a border wall has been gaining steam. A new Quinnipiac poll of 1,147 voters shows that 43 percent now support a border wall, while 54 percent oppose it. That’s up from a September Marist poll which showed a 28% level of support. It’s important for the Democrats to realize that opposition to a border wall does not translate into support for open borders. An August 30th Rasmussen Reports survey found that 68% of likely U.S. voters think illegal immigration is a serious problem, and 43% consider it a very serious problem.

In 2006, Democratic Congressional leaders agreed that illegal immigration was a serious problem and most supported the construction of a border wall. Their current fierce opposition to provide any funds at all for this initiative is purely political. Trump rightly says “this is only about the Dems not letting Donald Trump and the Republicans have a win.” They are playing fast and loose with America’s national security. As the number of crimes committed by illegals escalates, the Democrats’ unwillingness to bend on this issue may come back to haunt them in 2020. It’s one thing to oppose President Trump’s initiatives; it’s quite another to put the safety of American citizens at risk for political reasons. While many of these people are simply searching for better lives, others have far more dangerous motives such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism. And these individuals seek out the “soft spots” along the border to exploit them.

Many Americans wonder why, since Republicans have controlled both chambers of Congress for two years, Trump chooses to fight for the wall at this late stage. There are several reasons for this. Although a member of Congress may nominally be a Republican, each has their own political agenda which may or may not conflict with that of the President. There are many Republicans who oppose Trump. Consider retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s role in the Brett Kavanaugh hearing or the late John McCain’s vote against Obamacare repeal. Republican leaders have always found a reason to kick the can down the road.

In March, a $1.3 trillion spending bill included just $1.6 billion for border measures — much of which was for repairs to already existing fencing.” Trump tweeted that he was “considering a VETO” of the bill. He said: “There are a lot of things that I’m unhappy about in this bill. There are a lot of things that we shouldn’t have had in this bill.”

And only after a hard press from administration officials and congressional leaders did Trump grudgingly sign the bill “as a matter of national security.“

Trump said he swallowed his objections because of its funding boost for national defense and the military.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly were key in convincing Trump not to veto the legislation, according to a source familiar with conversations between congressional leaders and the president.

Speaker Paul Ryan also put in a call to Trump from Wisconsin. He had already flown home for the recess and dialed him up to remind him of the GOP wins in the omnibus and encouraged him to sign the bill.

In July, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell convinced Trump to wait until after the midterm elections to seek funding for the wall.

After the Democrats won the House majority in the midterms, there was simply insufficient support among members of Congress for a bill containing border wall funding to pass.

So, here we are. The US government is in a partial shutdown. Trump has offered a 50% concession. Democrats?