Empowered by her new role as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is digging in and preparing for a fight over funding for President Trump’s long-promised border wall, signaling she won’t accept a deal on DACA in exchange for wall money.
It’s two years into President Trump’s presidency and he still has not received the funding he wants for the wall, and if Nancy Pelosi has her way Trump will never receive funding for the wall, and will be forced to accept the money that is allotted for fencing.
Schumer said Thursday that a bipartisan Senate plan for $1.6 billion in border security funding does not include money for the 30-foot-high (9-meter-high) concrete wall Trump has envisioned. The money “can only be used for fencing” and technology that experts say is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature, Schumer said.
“This is something Democrats have always been for: smart, effective, appropriate border security,” he said on the Senate floor
Congress on Thursday approved a short-term spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown, punting the immigration debate and other issues until later in the month, Fox News reports.
Speaking to reporters at her weekly press briefing Thursday, Pelosi (D-Calif.), the likely next House Speaker, said that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border are “two different subjects.”
She later said that she and most Democrats consider the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive,” adding that Trump repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for it.
On “America’s Newsroom” Friday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) noted that several years ago, Democrats like Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were “hawks” on immigration.
“[Now] you have the Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, far-left wing of their base that they have to placate,” Kinzinger said. “So they’re not going to give anything.”
He said he wants comprehensive immigration reform, including a DACA fix, but that can’t happen until the border is secured.
“This is an easy thing to do. It doesn’t have to be just all about whacking the president on this issue,” Kinzinger said. “Give him the money, build the wall, let’s fix immigration and move on to other issues to argue about, because we always find new ones.”
Pelosi, who is slated to become the next speaker of the House, called a border wall “immoral, ineffective, and expensive” and promised it will not be funded at a press conference Thursday.
REPORTER: To follow up on his question, very quickly, some of your — some of the House Democrats are concerned about adding more money for this border fence. And if you guys do a C.R., my understanding is that that would approve $1.3, at least, million for the border fence, correct? And…
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): No, not necessarily.
QUESTION: Because that’s what it was last year, so if you just extend that again, wouldn’t that…
PELOSI: No, no.
QUESTION: … cause a problem?
PELOSI: I mean, it depends on how you spend the money. It’s border security. It’s about border security.
QUESTION: But within that, there was money for the fence, as well.
PELOSI: Well, you’re talking about (ph) a fence. You’re not talking about a wall now.
QUESTION: But you’re OK with that, as long as it’s…
PELOSI: No, I’m — I’m — I’m OK with what our — our — our chairwoman, Lucille Roybal-Allard — she is a person who has fought on these issues her — her entire stay in Congress, which has been for a couple of decades. We’re blessed that she’s in the position that she is in.
She knows that we — most of us, speaking for myself, consider the wall immoral, ineffective and expensive. And the president said he promised it. He also promised Mexico would pay for it. So even if they did, it’s immoral still, and then they’re not going to pay for it.
So that’s — that isn’t — that isn’t — that isn’t how I would interpret a congression — a continuing resolution.
The — we — we can move forward with this. We have a responsibility, all of us, to secure our borders, north, south, and coming in by plane, on our coasts — three coasts, north, south and west. And that — that’s a responsibility we honor, but we do so by honoring our values, as well.
Thank you all very much.