Pelosi says Democrats will give "nothing for the wall"

Charlene Craig
January 3, 2019

President Trump on Wednesday torched a compromise that his own vice president floated with Democrats last month to stave off a government funding lapse, saying $2.5 billion in border security spending was insufficient as he renewed calls for $5 billion for his border wall amid a shutdown that has stretched into its 12th day. Led by presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, they have scheduled votes on their first day in the majority on legislation that would end the shutdown without providing the wall funding Trump wants.

Trump said the shutdown affecting about a quarter of the federal government and 800,000 federal workers would last for " as long as it takes" as he pushes lawmakers for money for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border as part of any legislation to reopen agencies shuttered when their funding lapsed on December 22.

That would make it possible for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to send Trump a bill to reopen most of the government, while setting aside the fight over the wall.

Trump has invited congressional leaders to return to the White House on Friday to resume negotiations, but the signals coming from the White House and from Democrats right now seem to suggest neither side is willing to bend at this point. Sen.

Incoming House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California tells reporters that Homeland Security officials didn't finish the briefing that the group attended on Wednesday afternoon at the White House.

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Publicly, Mr. Trump is sticking to his demand for $5 billion for a wall on the southern border.

All sides are now locked in a political stalemate, as Republicans control the Senate and the White House while Democrats have seized the House.

"They are now feeling the heat", Schumer said. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to assume the speakership of the House of Representatives on Thursday, said after the briefing with the president.

The New York Times reported that Pence previously assured both GOP and Democratic senators that Trump would embrace a stopgap budget bill to push back a deadline to February 8. The administration has so far rejected the plan, which does not include funding to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Trump complained that he had been "lonely" at the White House during the holiday break, having skipped his getaway to Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

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"Well, then you got to do something about the Vatican, because the Vatican has the biggest wall of them all", Trump said.

Trump said during the cabinet meeting, "No, not $2.5 billion, no-we're asking for $5.6". McConnell spokesman Donald Stewart said Senate Republicans would not take action without Trump's backing.

"If they knew they couldn't come through, they wouldn't even start", Trump said at the meeting, joined by Cabinet secretaries and top advisers, including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

A partial government shutdown showed no signs of ending Wednesday as congressional leaders left what appeared to be an unproductive meeting with President Trump. He promised "six more years of great success". Congress and the president are at an impasse over funding for Trump's pet project, a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

"We are giving the Republicans the opportunity to take yes for an answer", she wrote in a letter to colleagues. Instead, he began threatening to shut down the government earlier this year unless Congress gave him billions of dollars to build it ― even though the type of structure he wants remains unclear. "Senate Republicans have already supported this legislation, and if they reject it now, they will be fully complicit in chaos and destruction of the President's third shutdown of his term". That measure would provide money through the remainder of the fiscal year, to September 30.

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