White House signals some compromise in ending govt shutdown
Updated 22:18, 09-Jan-2019
The White House chief of staff on Sunday raised the possibility of a compromise between President Donald Trump and Democrats, while admitting the government shutdown could "drag on a lot longer."
Mick Mulvaney, in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," said Trump was considering accepting funding to build a steel fence, despite his campaign promise that the wall be built of concrete.
"And if he has to give up a concrete wall, replace it with a steel fence in order to do that so that Democrats can say, 'See? He's not building a wall anymore,' that should help us move in the right direction," Mulvaney, who is also the head of the Office of Management and Budget, said.
Mulvaney said negotiations between his staff and congressional Democrats were bogged down in technical requests after the two sides met on Saturday morning.
"I think this is going to drag on a lot longer. I think that's, that's by, by intention," Mulvaney said.
Large chunks of the U.S. federal government shut down on December 22 after lawmakers and the president hit an impasse over Trump's demands to build a wall. 
Trump is demanding any funding to keep the federal government operational also include 5.6 billion U.S. dollars to begin building a 23 billion U.S. dollar-wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Democrats in control of the House of Representatives this week passed a bill to reopen the government without providing additional funding for the wall, and have insisted that reopening the government should be contingent upon wall construction funds.
Mulvaney dismissed claims from other Republicans that political motivations were preventing Trump for compromising.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said last week that Trump's political base would abandon the president if he did not build a wall.
(Top image: (Left to Right) Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (obscured), U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner walk from the West Wing before a meeting with Congressional staffers about ending the partial government shutdown at the White House in Washington DC, U.S., January 5, 2019. /VCG Photo)
Source(s): Reuters