Nancy Pelosi Backs House Leadership Limits, All But Securing Bid For Speaker

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at the White House following a meeting with President Donald Trump

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer accused the US President of throwing a "temper tantrum" during the meeting in the White House and asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to walk the president back.

The press-filled Oval Office meeting had been slated to cover border wall funding and the looming possibility of a partial government shutdown, but it quickly gave way to a reality TV atmosphere, with jabs between the President and Democratic leaders. "If we have to close down the country (over) border security, I actually like that in terms of an issue", he said.

At one point, he said that he would take responsibility for shutting down government if funding for the wall was not forthcoming. "Chuck and Nancy must give us the votes to get additional Border Security!"

A closed-door meeting between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders lasted barely 30 minutes Tuesday after a heated televised opening session "spiraled downwards", in the words of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Trump is seeking far more for his long-stalled border wall than the $1.6 billion the Senate has agreed to for border security, including physical barriers and technology along the U.S. southern border.

They have urged Trump to support a bill that includes a half-dozen government funding bills largely agreed upon by lawmakers, along with a separate measure that funds the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through September 30.

"And the experts say you can do border security without a wall, which is wasteful and doesn't solve the problem", Mr. Schumer said.

"You don't have the votes", Pelosi said.

US President Donald Trump and US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer exchange words during a tense meeting in the Oval office.

Later in the day on Capitol Hill, Ms. Pelosi, according to a Democratic aide, said: "It was so wild".

"Let's hope that there won't be a shutdown of the government", Pelosi said.

Tweeting ahead of a White House meeting with opposition Democratic Party leaders, Trump claimed that the wall was needed to prevent "large scale crime and disease" brought by illegal immigrants.

Prior to Tuesday's public spat, Trump said the military would build his promised border wall if Congress did not sign off his funding proposal.

The president contended that it could only pass if it met his demands for more funding for his proposed border wall along the United States southern border. "We have to have an evidence-based conversation about what does work and what money has been spent and how effective it is", Pelosi said. "It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you".

Rep. Nancy Pelosi shrugged off suggestions Thursday that she weakened herself by agreeing to limit her tenure as next House speaker to a four-year maximum, a deal that clears the way for her to be elected to the post for the new Congress.

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