President Donald Trump joined Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to discuss a deal on border wall funding — and it doesn’t sound like it went well.
The president has requested that five billion dollars be included in the final appropriation bills to continue construction of the southern border wall, but Democrats are not on board.
Because this is a spending bill that will impact the 2019 budget, the president must get 60 votes in the Senate to pass the wall funding bill.
During their meeting, the three tried to come to a negotiation but based on the post-meeting press conference, things did not go will. Pelosi pushed Trump to avoid a shutdown because Republicans have control of the House, Senate, and White House, claiming they “have the votes.”
The president disagreed, claiming a shutdown would be worth it if they can’t get the 60 Senate votes. Pelosi argued that Trump couldn’t even get the bill through the House.
Trump: If we thought we were going to get it passed in the Senate, Nancy, we would do it immediately. We would get it passed very easily in the House.
Pelosi: No, you would not.
Trump: We would get it passed in two seconds. It doesn’t matter, though, because we can’t get it passed in the Senate because we need 10 Democrat votes. That’s the difference.
Pelosi: […] But there are no votes in the House, a majority of votes, for a wall, no matter where you start.
Schumer: That’s exactly right.
Trump: If I needed the votes in the House, I would have them in one session and we’d be done.
Pelosi and Schumer argued that they have a bill that is similar to the 2018 funding that they could pass easily, but Trump wasn’t interested in passing that bill if the border won’t be secured.
“We need border security. People are pouring into our country, including terrorists. We have terrorists. We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. Ten. These are very serious people.”
Schumer didn’t seem to care as much about the claims of terrorists as he did about Trump’s threats to shut down the government.
“We have solutions that would pass the House and Senate, right now, and will not shut down the government and that’s what we’re urging you to do,” said Schumer.
Still, Trump seemed unphased by the deal to maintain funding without securing the border.
“If it’s not good border security, I won’t take it,” said Trump.
Clearly, there will need to be a lot more negotiating before either side is willing to budge. Although the Democrats seem opposed to shutting down the government, Trump said he would be “proud” to do it to protect the border.
As IJR previously reported, Trump has considered using the military to build the wall if funding is not passed.