Power Players

Kevin O'Leary: This is what it will take to end the U.S. government shutdown

Kevin O'Leary: Here's how to end the government shutdown

As the longest federal government shutdown in history stretches on, U.S. leaders remain stuck in the appropriations-bill stalemate that caused it. Despite hundreds of thousands of federal workers being furloughed or working without pay — and the economic turmoil it could cause — there's likely no end in sight. A proposal by President Donald Trump to reopen the government is headed for a vote this week in the Senate, "where it will probably fail, " CNBC reports. 

It's an unprecedented situation, and Kevin O'Leary, star of ABC's "Shark Tank" and a serial entrepreneur known for his tough negotiating skills, agrees it's bad for the country. 

"We've got two very stubborn people that are trying to bring forward some very aggressive negotiating skills: Pelosi versus Trump," O'Leary tells CNBC Make It, referring to Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Trump is demanding an appropriations bill that includes $5.7 billion in funding to build a wall on the United States' southern border, and the Democratic House, lead by Pelosi, will only pass a bill without such funding.

"Nobody wants to make a deal. That's not good for the country, and you know, you have to respect both sides of the equation." 

So what's it going to take to end the shutdown? What it always takes — compromise, says O'Leary.

"In negotiating, both sides have to feel they left something on the table; that's the definition of a great deal, and that's what's going to happen here," he says.

"Trump's not going to get exactly what he wants, but enough to save face, Pelosi is definitely not getting what she wants, but enough to save face, and then it's back to work for all of us. That's the right thing to do in the country," says O'Leary, who was born in Canada, but lives in Boston and Miami. 

The shutdown is taking a major financial toll on many families who are no longer pulling in money, and if the standoff continues to drag on, Friday will mark the second paycheck missed by affected federal workers. While O'Leary notes that Trump has signed legislation that guarantees all furloughed workers back pay once the government re-opens, it's still a dire situation for many.

Indeed, a recent CBS poll found that 60 percent of U.S. respondents think the shutdown is "causing serious problems," CNBC reports, and only 28 percent of Americans believe the border wall is worth the shutdown. 

"It's not really fair to put them in a situation where they have no control and they have to provide for their families," O'Leary says. "I don't like the situation very much, and I don't care if you're on the Democratic or the Republican side; it's bad for the country. It's got to get resolved."

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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."

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