WASHINGTON -- Day 20 of the partial government shutdown has ended with no deal to be found.
- The White House is demanding more than $5 billion for a border wall
- Hundreds of thousands of federal workers across the country are not receiving paychecks
- If the shutdown lasts into the weekend, it will become the longest in U.S. history
North Carolina politicians, like many on Capitol Hill, have dug in.
"Democrats are not the problem. Republicans are obstructing," said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C.
"We’ve got to make sure we fight back, stand strong and stand with this president," said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., during an appearance on Fox News.
At the center of the debate remains the southern border wall, the president's premiere campaign promise. The White House is demanding more than $5 billion for the wall.
Democrats, who now control the U.S. House of Representatives, refuse. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Butterfield says he and his Democratic colleagues would not give the president money to erect a "concrete monument in his honor."
The president, who has recently begun referring to the wall as "steel slats," took the fight to Texas Thursday, touring the border and meeting with border control agents.
"We're under attack in a certain way. And we're certainly under attack by criminal gangs, by criminals themselves, by the human traffickers," President Donald Trump said during a round table discussion.
On Capitol Hill, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., met with other senators behind closed doors, trying to carve out a larger immigration compromise as part of a possible deal to end the shutdown impasse. Possible relief for the DACA population was reportedly part of the discussion.
By Thursday afternoon, however, one of the leaders of the effort told reporters he was effectively throwing in the towel. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., says there was no path forward. By Friday, the impact of this partial shutdown will become more dramatic, with hundreds of thousands of federal workers across the country not receiving paychecks. Some lawmakers are also sounding the alarm about what could happen further down the road.
"We’re being told that if we don’t get the government up and running, that food stamps will cease late in February," Butterfield said. "That means families will go without food, it means supermarkets will not be able to have the business of those who purchase food."
With Congress still at an impasse, the president continues to toy with declaring a national emergency. It would allow him to go around Congress to pay for and build the wall.
While Trump told Fox News Thursday that he has the "absolute right" to declare an emergency, many on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill have indicated any such declaration will likely end up in court.
If the shutdown lasts into the weekend, it will become the longest in U.S. history.