US House Democrats have plan to fund government, but not a wall

Trump's border wall 'not really a wall', says outgoing chief of staff John Kelly

Trump, however, is still insisting that any deal include billions of dollars to fund his long-stalled southern border wall.

The Democratic proposal holds out one exception: The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border security, would keep its current level of funding, with no new money for a border wall.

Talks have been at a stalemate for more than a week, after Democrats said the White House offered to accept $2.5 billion for border security. "If you don't have the wall, you are going to have people coming in".

On Monday, Pelosi and Schumer jointly announced a Democratic plan to reopen the government.

House speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement Monday calling for Republican support for the legislation.

They planned to pass them as soon as the new Congress convened Thursday. "Mexico & Canada will also thrive - good for all!" the president said.

"It is with them", she said, explaining that Mr Trump is not reaching out to Democrats.

It would also include another measure made up of six other bipartisan bills - some that have already passed the Senate - to fund the departments of Agriculture, Interior, Housing and Urban Development and others closed by the partial shutdown.

And on Monday afternoon it emerged that some of the most famous national parks in the western USA are closing partially because of problems such as overflowing public toilets and garbage facilities, vandalism to fragile areas and resulting dangers to human and wildlife safety.

Almost all the nine departments and agencies hit by the shutdown which began 22 December are running out of their carryover cash as the pay period for the next paycheck ends 5 January.

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Trump said in a Twitter post that border security can not exist "without a strong and powerful Wall".

"The president still says "wall" - oftentimes frankly he'll say "barrier" or 'fencing, ' now he's tended towards steel slats".

But now he is blaming Democrats, tweeting, "Democrats, come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for border security, including the wall".

The White House did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the House proposal.

The news comes one day after outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly said in an interview with the LA Times that funding for a concrete wall along the entire border was already off the table.

The incoming House Democratic majority plans to vote on a package that would fully fund all other now shuttered agencies for the remainder of the fiscal year and reopen the Department of Homeland Security until early February - but with no new dollars for a border barrier. The plan would also extend the department's budget only through February 8, allowing Democrats to revisit funding for key parts of Trump's immigration policy in a month.

Trump on Twitter criticized Democratic opposition to the wall project, which carries a total estimated price tag of $23 billion.

Trump says a wall is needed along the whole border to keep out migrants trying to enter the country illegally, casting them as an "invasion" force of risky criminals.

Speaking of the wall, Gen. Kelly said that after consultation with border patrol agents it became clear that a continuous, opaque structure would not be suitable for stemming the flow of illegal immigrants.

"An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media", Trump tweeted.

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