US: No shutdown deal in sight

US: No shutdown deal in sight, by Alexander Bolton.

A group of centrist House Democrats on Tuesday rejected a White House invitation to attend talks with Republicans and Trump, seeing it as an effort to divide the party. …

“The sheer fact that no Democrats [were] here to even talk with us shows the lack of willingness to compromise,” said Rep. Rodney Davis (Ill.), one of the Republicans who went to the White House.

Democrats feel confident they have leverage on Trump, who has seen his poll numbers steadily erode as the shutdown drags on.

“Every day he’s losing. The Gallup Poll today had him at a near record low of 37 percent popularity. Even some of his base is losing faith,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. “President Trump, you’re not going to win this fight with the American people. Every day it drags on, you are less popular.”

A Quinnipiac University poll published Monday showed that 56 percent of respondents blame Trump and Republicans in Congress for the shutdown while only 36 percent blame Democrats.

Convinced that Trump is taking the brunt of the political fallout, Democrats feel little incentive to cede any ground in the standoff over the president’s demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall.

So far, most Republican lawmakers are sticking with Trump, persuading themselves the shutdown isn’t becoming a political disaster for their party. But others acknowledge the standoff is taking a toll on Trump’s political standing and want to see an end to the impasse. … While most Republican lawmakers are sticking with Trump for now, nerves are fraying.