With 800,000 Federal Workers Still Impacted By Shutdown, Commander-In-Chief Says Wall Doesn't Have To Be Concrete

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sunday marked the 16th day of the government shutdown.

Democrat and Republican lawmakers tried negotiating over the weekend, but there’s still no deal, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.

Both sides believe in stronger border security, but the point of contention is what that is. President Donald Trump wants a wall and he’s now considering declaring a national emergency within days if Democrats don’t agree to it.

A section of the reinforced U.S.-Mexico border fence as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, on Jan. 6, 2019. (Photo by Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images)

Federal monuments remain closed. Transportation Security Administration employees are still without pay. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer estimates the shutdown has impacted some 50,000 government workers and contractors in the metropolitan area.

“They should not be hostages to President Trump’s demand,” Schumer said.

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On Friday, the minority leader joined other Democrat and Republican congressional members in an oval office meeting with President Trump. He said the president is demanding a $5.6 billion concrete wall. Sen. Dick Durbin told CBS’s “Face The Nation” he was part of talks over the weekend with Vice President Mike Pence.

“Well. I can’t say that we’re close because the president has made it clear he doesn’t care,” said Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois. “He’s prepared to see a shutdown for months and even said years. As of last night, three Republican senators have said they don’t like this approach of shutting down the government and they’re talking about joining in a bipartisan effort to end it.”

Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, however, is standing by the president.

“There’s a deal to be had here and it will include a wall. And if there’s no wall in this deal, we’ll never have a deal,” Graham said.

MOREGraham: Shutdown Will Continue As Long As “Radical Left In Charge”

On Sunday afternoon, the president offered an update on what his wall would look like.

“I informed my folks to say that we’ll build a steel barrier. Steel. It will be made out of steel. It will be less obtrusive and it’ll be stronger,” Trump said. “And we’re gonna use our companies to make it, like U.S. Steel.

When asked about the impact to the 800,000 federal employees who are not getting paid, he said, “I think they will make an adjustment because they want to see the border taken care of. You know, government workers want to see the border taken care of. It affects them very dearly.”

Congress is scheduled to reconvene on Tuesday.