U.S.

Pelosi Says Trump Will Get ‘Nothing for the Wall’ as President Declares Shutdown Will Last ‘as Long as It Takes’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told President Donald Trump he would get “nothing” to fund his southern-border wall, suggesting little progress had been made in ending a budget deadlock that has partially shut down the federal government for almost two weeks.

Pelosi was asked on NBC’s Today show if she would give Trump some of the $5 billion he has demanded to build the wall. “No, nothing for the wall,” Pelosi said. “We're talking about border security. We can go through this back-and-forth. No. How many more times can we say no? No—nothing for the wall.”

Read more: Can Mueller indict Trump while he’s president? Pelosi calls it an “open discussion”

Before the shutdown began on December 22, Trump said during a testy meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that he would take responsibility for any federal government shutdown. Trump said he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.”

Since then, the president has sought to blame the Democrats for the shutdown because they will not agree to a budget that includes any of the $5 billion of funding Trump has demanded for his border wall, which he claimed would stop undocumented migrants from entering the U.S.

Democrats will once again take control of the House of Representatives on Thursday when the newly elected Congress members are sworn in. They plan to pass legislation to fund the federal departments currently shut down.

While they refuse to explicitly fund the wall, they have shown a willingness to give an extra $1.6 billion to border security. But Trump has indicated he would take nothing less than $5 billion—specifically for the wall’s construction.

“We asked the president to support the bills that we support that will open up government,” Schumer told reporters after a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, CBS News reported.

“We asked him to give us one good reason—I asked him directly, I said 'Mr. President give me one good reason why you should continue your shutdown of the eight Cabinet departments while we are debating our differences on homeland security.' He could not give a good answer,” said Schumer.

Republicans control the Senate, which must also approve the budget. Though the House has flipped back to the Democrats, the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate after the midterms.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the House Democrats’ budget plan a “total nonstarter” and urged them to get “serious” if they want to end the current deadlock.

"It's exactly the kind of proposal you'd expect if the incoming House Democrats are choosing to stage a political sideshow rather than doing the hard work of helping govern the country. In other words a total nonstarter," McConnell told the Senate, as reported by The Hill.

President Trump tweeted that congressional leaders had an “important” meeting on border security, though there was little sign of an end to the shutdown.

“Both parties must work together to pass a Funding Bill that protects this Nation and its people–this is the first and most important duty of government,” Trump tweeted. “I remain ready and willing to work with Democrats to pass a bill that secures our borders, supports the agents and officers on the ground, and keeps America Safe. Let’s get it done!"

The president later added: "Sadly, there can be no REAL Border Security without the Wall!"

He also said at a meeting with his Cabinet that the shutdown would continue for “as long as it takes” because “I think the people of this country think I’m right.” 

Nancy Pelosi Donald Trump House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California talks to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and fellow members of Congress about border security at the White House on January 2. Trump and House Democrats are no closer to a deal for reopening parts of the federal government. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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