President Donald Trump met with the two top Democratic leaders in Congress on Tuesday to discuss border security funding. Trump wants $5 billion for his border wall and said he will shut down the government without it. Democrats are begging him to reconsider.
“The Trump shutdown is something that can be avoided,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters after the meeting. Pelosi dubbed the shutdown a “Trump shutdown” during their meeting in which Trump agreed he would take responsibility for shutting down the government right before the holidays.
“The bottom line is simple. The president made clear that he wants a shutdown,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) added. “If he sticks to his position for $5 billion for the wall, he will get no wall, and he will get a shutdown.”
Schumer and Pelosi said they would be happy to repeat last year’s funding for border security, a $1.6 billion package. Schumer said Trump’s proposal for even more money doesn’t make sense because he has spent less than 6 percent of the $1.3 billion from last year.
“They haven’t even spent last year’s money, and now they’re demanding much, much more this year,” Schumer said.
“This Trump shutdown, this temper tantrum that he seems to throw, will not get him his wall, and it will hurt a lot of people,” Schumer added, quickly reminding reporters that Trump’s original promise was to have Mexico pay for the wall.
The meeting between the three leaders was heated, a look at how the next two years could be with more power to Democrats in the House.
Watch the entire public meeting with Trump, Schumer, and Pelosi here:
The two Democratic leaders hope that the president will reconsider the shutdown that Pelosi sarcastically called a “holiday present to the American people” by passing appropriations bills already agreed upon by Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
A government shutdown would mean hundreds of thousands of government employees would get furloughed and docked pay while other essential government employees, such as the military, will have to work without pay.
It’s not clear whether or not Trump will change his mind to avoid such a shutdown, but Pelosi said she “asked him to pray over it.”