Why This Texas Democrat Met With Trump Amid Shutdown Fight Over Border Wall

WASHINGTON — The persistence of a record-setting partial government shutdown sent McAllen Rep. Vicente Gonzalez to where few Democrats venture these days: the White House.The two-term lawmaker on Wednesday joined a bipartisan group from the House Problem Solvers Caucus to pitch President Donald Trump on re-opening the federal government for at least 30 days while negotiations continue over a proposed wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.It was a decided long shot — one that didn't end up convincing Trump to break the impasse."He's really hung up on a structure on the border," Gonzalez told The Dallas Morning News. "A lot of that is just because he's looking at 2020. In fact, he mentioned it in the room — he's thinking about his campaign. It seems like it's on his mind all the time."But the Texas Democrat said the meeting was still "constructive," even though he told the Houston Chronicle in a separate interview on Wednesday that Trump's comments were "crazy.""We owe it to our districts and government workers," Gonzalez said, citing the hundreds of thousands of federal employees not getting a paycheck during the shutdown. "We owe them the courtesy to have a meeting with the president on trying to get the government open again."  Continue reading...

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