Pelosi: Trump's Border Wall Talk 'a Sign of Weakness'
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), noting that Republicans in border states aren't all on board with President Trump's plan for a border wall, argued Sunday that Trump "talking about this wall is expressing a sign of weakness."
"He's saying, I can't control our borders. I have to build a wall," she told NBC. "We certainly would like to -- we have a responsibility to control our borders. Building a wall is not an answer, not here or anyplace."
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that no lawmaker whose district touches the Mexican border currently supports the wall construction, including GOP Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), John McCain (Ariz.), John Cornyn (Texas) and Ted Cruz (Texas), whose concerns have included favoring hi-tech monitoring over a physical barrier.
"The wall is, in my view, immoral, expensive, unwise and when the president says, well, I promised a wall during my campaigns, I don't think he said he was going to pass billions of dollars of cost of the wall onto the taxpayer," Pelosi said, adding "you have to understand this part of the country -- there's a community with the border going through it."
The administration is seeking a $1.4 billion down payment from Congress, and has signaled it wants to play hardball to get the funding. Lawmakers have a week to approve an overall funding bill or the government shuts down.
"I don't think anybody is trying to get to a shutdown. Shutdown is not a desired end. It's not a tool. It's not something that we want to have," Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday. "We want our priorities funded and one of the biggest priorities during the campaign was border security, keeping Americans safe and part of that was a border wall. And we don't understand why the Democrats are so wholeheartedly against it."
Mulvaney said Trump is still open, though, to signing a government funding bill that does not include wall funding.
"We are offering to give Democrats some of their priorities as well. They made it very clear that they want these cost-sharing reduction payments as part of Obamacare. We don't like those very much, but we have offered to open the discussions to give the Democrats something they want in order to get something we want," he added.
The OMB director said Friday that Dems could have "$1 of CSR payments for $1 of wall payments."
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told NBC, "I think that as long as the president's priorities are adequately reflected in the [continuing resolution] and it allows us to get moving with an increase in military spending and a rebuilding of our military... and there's enough as far as flexibility for the border wall and border security, I think we'll be OK with that."