While President Donald Trump was busy visiting the southern U.S. border promoting his cause to extend a border wall there, his vice president was also busy in Washington trying to win over members of Congress to the administration’s goals.
Vice President Mike Pence told reporters at the Capitol building that the president would not budge on the issue of building a border wall, which is the central feature of a general funding impasse that led to a partial government shutdown in late December.
“No wall, no deal. We’re going to keep standing strong, keep standing firm,” Pence said in his comments to the press, according to reporting from the New York Times.
Pence implored Democrats to acquiesce to the administration’s demands for funding the border wall, which would cost more than $5 billion.
“It’s time for Democrats to come to the table,” he added.
Pence also indicated to the press that Trump and other administration officials wouldn’t be likely to support a bipartisan deal that’s starting to gain traction among moderates in Congress. That deal would allow Trump to get the border wall funding he wants, in exchange for a promise to support immigration reform that would benefit “Dreamers,” children who came to the country with their immigrant parents but, for all intents and purposes, were raised in America just like any other kids were up to adulthood.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made clear in her own statements to the press that her party wouldn’t budge on the issue either. The House passed legislation earlier this month that would fully re-open the government, without funding for the proposed border wall.
Pelosi urged Republicans in the Senate to allow a vote on the House bill, and pass it so that the shutdown could come to an end.
“Why are you rejecting it at the expense of the health, safety and well-being of the American people? Do you take an oath to the American people, or to Donald Trump?”
The government shutdown has forced more than 800,000 federal employees to go without a paycheck for three weeks. Those families are now facing many difficulties, including stretching their savings out to pay rent or mortgages, utility bills, and other living expenses.
Americans in the private sector are also dealing with the effects of the shutdown. Per previous reporting from the Inquisitr, national parks are being overrun with trash and other waste, the Food and Drug Administration has furloughed inspectors charged with overseeing the nation’s food, and SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) could run dry by the end of February, if the impasse isn’t resolved by then.