WASHINGTON–House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Jan. 31 there would not be any money for President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.–Mexico border in the deal being worked out by a bipartisan negotiating team.
“There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation,” Pelosi said, adding that more ports of entry or additional border technology was on the table for negotiation.
Asked by reporters about Pelosi’s comment on wall funding, Trump said: “Without a wall, it doesn’t work.”
The committee of Republican and Democratic representatives and senators met for the first time on Jan. 30 to begin negotiating a compromise on federal spending. Trump has demanded a $5.7 billion down payment for his promised wall.
The committee will likely have to wrap up its work around Feb. 10 to meet a Feb. 15 deadline that was set when Trump and lawmakers agreed to end a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history. Otherwise, about 800,000 federal employees could again be furloughed or forced to work without pay.
Pelosi rejected as a “nonstarter” Trump’s offer of three-year protection for illegal immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in exchange for a permanent wall. The DACA program, created by President Barack Obama through executive action, grants temporary status to aliens who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
Pelosi also said she does not believe a bill to permanently end shutdowns should be part of current border security negotiations. House Democrats on Jan. 31 released to reporters a detailed summary of their opening offer in the negotiations. It did not include money for a wall or any type of new physical border barriers.
In a series of messages on Jan. 31, Trump pointed to an alarming rise in crime in Mexico and migrant caravans heading to the United States as some of the reasons a wall is needed.
“We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also. With a Wall it would be soooo much easier and less expensive. Being Built!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
By Amanda Becker and Richard Cowan. Epoch Times staff member Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.