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Katko, Brindisi attend White House talks, say there is path to end shutdown

Rep. John Katko
Facebook (file photo)
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) with Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in Washington D.C. Both were at the White House Wednesday.

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) made his second appearance in two days at the White House Wednesday as negotiations continued between Democrats and President Donald Trump to reopen the federal government. The issue is over funding for a wall along the Southern Border, which Katko said he supports, but he has also voted to end the shutdown without wall funding.

Trump met with members from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus Wednesday. Katko said some Democrats could probably stomach a compromise with Trump if the deal was right. This comes after some Democrats refused to meet with Trump Tuesday. Katko said he was stunned to learn that some Democrats didn’t know that the wall Trump is calling for, would not go across the entire Southern Border, but rather, a couple hundred miles of high traffic areas.

“We now have Democrats who have sat down with him and listened to him and have left without saying no way, no how, left saying okay, I got it," Katko said. "Hopefully, they are going to go back and speak with leadership on the Democratic side and maybe this will spark some sort of reset to try to get these talks going again.”

Katko said he thinks Trump would reopen the government if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave any indication that she would be willing in some way, shape or form, to agree to some funding for a border wall, as part of a bigger package.

“He wants her to give some assurances that they’re not only going to bargain in good faith, that they will, to some extent, bend on the wall issue and he’s going to bend on the cost and how much,” Katko said. "The president was right when he said this could be over in 30 minutes. It could end that quickly. But I agree it could go on for awhile."

Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) was also at the White House Wednesday and said he believes there is a way forward, but first, the government must be reopened. His statement is below.

“Today I joined a bipartisan group of problem solvers at the White House for a productive conversation. Both sides listened to each other, and we believe there is a way forward. First things first: we must reopen the government. Our security, our safety, and our economy is at stake.”

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.