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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Following a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, President Trump confirmed to reporters that he said he would be willing to keep the government shut down for "a very long period of time, months or even years."

Why it matters: As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last April, those who work most closely with Trump say he's a one-trick pony in negotiations. That trick is to threaten the outrageous, ratchet up the tension, amplify it with tweets and taunts, and then compromise on fairly conventional middle ground. Nonetheless, the White House and congressional leadership emerged from yet another meeting without a solution to the government shutdown.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there is no way the government would reopen before Tuesday, since members would need to be in town to vote. The Senate has already adjourned and the House is out of session for the weekend. It's the 14th day of the shutdown.

What's next: While speaking in the Rose Garden, Trump said he has designated a working group to conduct more negotiations over the weekend. Trump said the group would be led by Vice President Mike Pence, while Fox News' Chad Pergram reports that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House adviser Jared Kushner will be involved as well.

Go deeper: The government shutdown hasn't broken the record yet — but it could

Go deeper

46 mins ago - Economy & Business

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.