Nancy Pelosi Invites Second Shutdown: 'No Wall Money'
President responds by repeating his threat of using national emergency to build wall
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday has again refused to negotiate with President Donald Trump on the Border wall proposal as another partial government shut down looms.
"There's not going to be any wall money in the legislation," Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters.
Despite some Democrats signaling some flexibility, namely spending $1.6 billion on 'fencing' spanning the pedestrian walkway in the Rio Grande Valley, Pelosi's remarks caused more confusion.
Trump took to Twitter to reiterate his demands on the wall before telling reporters in the Oval Office that Pelosi is "just playing games."
The President then repeated his threat of using a declare a national emergency to construct the wall.
Trumped Tweeted: "Let's just call them WALLS from now on, and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!"
The Democrats offered their border security plan which was company absent of any funds for a wall.
The Democratic measure came to a total of $22 billion, this includes:
But Pelosi hinted that she as open to vehicle barriers called "Normandy fencing."
"If the president wants to call that a wall, he can call that a wall. ... Is there a place for enhanced fencing? Normandy fencing would work," Pelosi said.
Trump on Thursday told GOP negotiators they were "wasting their time."
"Democrats, despite all of the evidence, proof and Caravans coming, are not going to give money to build the DESPERATELY needed WALL. I've got you covered. Wall is already being built; I don't expect much help!" Trump tweeted.
Lets just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
According to NBC news: Trump's threat to unilaterally build the wall through an unprecedented use of emergency powers could upset congressional Republicans.
Pelosi's hard-line move could push the president further in that direction.
The high-stakes talks are taking place against the backdrop of another possible shutdown in mid-February — an outcome of Trump's GOP allies in the Senate are especially eager to avoid.
It increases the chances that the only way to avert another shutdown would be to put a host of federal agencies on autopilot for weeks or months.
Trump and the White House have proven to be an unpredictable force in the shutdown debate, mixing softer rhetoric about a multi-faceted approach to border security with campaign-style bluster about the wall.
Lawmakers negotiating the bill are well aware that he could quash an agreement at any time, plunging them back into crisis.
Pelosi's declaration promises to put a nail in Trump's request for $5.7 billion to build about 234 miles of barriers along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Trump's GOP allies acknowledge he might have settled for just a fraction of it.
The Democratic plan includes new money for customs agents, scanners, aircraft and boats to police the border and to provide humanitarian assistance for migrants.
The Democratic offer was just a starting point in House-Senate talks on border security funding that kicked off in a basement room in the Capitol.
Then, a top Democrat, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., acknowledged that "everything is on the table," including the border barriers demanded by Trump.
Lawmakers on both sides in the talks signaled flexibility in hopes of resolving the standoff with Trump that sparked the 35-day partial government shutdown.
According to a report From the Hill: Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) suggested Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could call a border barrier a “whangdoodle” to avoid calling it a “wall” if it helped them make a deal.
“Speaker Pelosi is an extraordinarily bright person. She knows that the walls we have right now are working, she knows that you can’t secure a 1,900-mile border without using barriers. I think she probably doesn’t want to use the word ‘wall.’ That’s ok; she can call it a wangdoodle for all I care,” Kennedy said Thursday on CNN.