WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rejecting the idea of providing “some big down payment” for President Donald Trump’s border wall as part of a solution to the partial government shutdown.
Pelosi on Thursday spoke after Trump suggested a “reasonable” installment on such a barrier might be a way to solve the impasse. She suggested the idea was not a serious one.
Asked whether she knows the size of a down payment that Trump might find reasonable, Pelosi replied, “I don’t know if he knows what he’s talking about.”
Senate Rejects GOP, Dem Government Funding Bills
The Senate earlier Thursday rejected dueling Republican and Democratic measures to end the 34-day partial government shutdown, which is the longest in the nation’s history.
The idea of “a large down payment” for a border wall to reopen the government was floated by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday. She spoke while Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer were meeting to try to hash out a solution.
Workers Will Miss Another Payday
Contributing to the pressure on lawmakers was the harsh reality confronting 800,000 federal workers, who on Friday face a second payday with no paychecks.
Underscoring the strains, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., angrily said that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had forced a 2013 shutdown during which “people were killed” in Colorado from flooding and shuttered federal agencies couldn’t help the state’s emergency workers.
Moments earlier, Cruz accused Democrats of blocking a separate, doomed bill to pay Coast Guard personnel during this shutdown to score political points, adding later, “Just because you hate somebody doesn’t mean you should shut the government down.”
Democratic Bill Gets Two More Vote Than GOP Version
In an embarrassment to Trump that could weaken his position whenever negotiations get serious, the Democratic proposal got two more votes Thursday than the GOP plan, even though Republicans control the chamber 53-47. Six Republicans backed the Democratic plan including freshman Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who’s clashed periodically with the president.