Nancy Pelosi has a simple message for Donald Trump when it comes to funding for his border wall — no means no.
The incoming Speaker of the House has been steadfast in her stance not to offer Trump any of the billions of dollars he has demanded to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which is now the subject of a government shutdown. In an interview on the Today show, Pelosi said that she and the Democratic caucus are not willing to give in to Trump’s demand.
“We can go through the back and forth,” Pelosi said in a clip that aired on MSNBC on Wednesday. “No. How many more times can we say no? Nothing for the wall.”
The government shutdown has now lasted more than two weeks, stretching through the holiday week and now set to overlap with the new term of Congress, when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives. It had originally looked as if Democrats and Republicans came together on a measure to temporarily fund the government and Trump gave assurances he would sign it, but the president abruptly changed course amid pressure from the more right-leaning members of Congress and normal right-wing media allies like Fox News. Amid criticism that he was giving in on a chief campaign promise, Trump vetoed the bipartisan funding measure and said he would not sign any bill unless it included funding for the border wall.
Trump had already backed out on a previous deal that would have allotted funding for the border wall in exchange for an extension of the DACA program.
The government shutdown has put Donald Trump in a difficult spot politically. After publicly boasting that he would shut down the government and take credit for it, Trump has since blamed Democrats for the stalemate, though the majority of voters do not share that stance. A poll from The Hill-Harris X found that only 22 percent of voters blame Democrats for the shutdown, while 42 percent blamed Donald Trump.
Democrats have said they will pass a short-term funding legislation when they take control of Congress on Thursday, one similar to the measure that had already passed the Republican-controlled Senate in late December. Democratic allies have been pushing Nancy Pelosi and leaders not to give in to Trump’s demand, instead forcing the president to relent and sign the measure that would bring hundreds of thousands of federal employees back to work without giving any funding for the border wall.