Pelosi says “nothing for the wall” in legislation to end shutdown

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Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated her party’s position against President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion in funding for border wall.

She said Democrats will not include money for the border wall in any legislation to end the partial government shutdown.

In a taped interview with NBC’s Today show, which is set to air on Thursday morning, Pelosi said, “No, nothing for the wall.”

The Democrats will officially take control of the House on Thursday. Pelosi will likely reclaim the Speaker’s gavel.

On Wednesday, Pelosi and other congressional leaders met with Trump at the White House to reach an agreement on border security. Their negotiation was unproductive.

As expected, Democrats strongly rejected the president’s demand for border wall funding. On the other hand, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said he will not bring to the floor any spending bill that Trump opposes.

On Thursday, the House is set to vote on six appropriation legislation to fund eight federal government agencies (excluding the Department of Homeland Security) until September 30. It will vote on a separate bill to fund the DHS until February 8. The bill does not include new funding for border wall.

In his remarks after the briefing at the White House on Wednesday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the incoming House Minority Leader (R-California), said Trump does not support the Democrats’ legislation.

Democrats urge Republicans to support bills to open up the government

On the other hand, Pelosi explained to reporters that the legislation that they will advance in the House will open up the government. The measures are “based on actions taken by the Republican Senate…bills that passed on the floor of the Senate by over 90 votes…”

In addition, she said, “We have given the Republicans the chance to say yes for an answer. We have taken their proposals un-amended…Our question to the president and to the Republicans is: Why don’t you accept what you have already done to open up government and that enables us to have 30 days to negotiate for border security?”

Furthermore, Pelosi emphasized, “Democrats have been committed to protecting our borders.”

Pelosi, Schumer

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said, “The bottom line is very simple. We asked the president to support the bills that we support that will open up government.” He added that Trump could give them one good reason why he should continue the shutdown of the eight cabinet departments while debating their differences on homeland security.

“The only reason that they are shutting down the government is very simple. They want to try and leverage that shut down into their proposals on border security. We want strong border security…but to use the shutdown as hostage…is wrong,” said Schumer.

He is encouraging Republicans to reconsider and support the bipartisan bills, one of which was proposed by McConnell.