WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader and Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi said Republicans do not have enough votes to approve President Donald Trump’s request for a $5 billion border wall.
“They do not have the votes to pass the president’s proposal, $5 billion, or whatever it is, for the wall,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference on Thursday.
She added: “Nothing is going to change in that regard.”
Earlier Thursday Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats will not agree to provide more than $1.3 billion for border security.
“I want to be crystal clear. There will be no additional appropriations to pay for the border wall. It’s done,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a floor speech.
Congress allocated $1.6 billion for border security in FY 2018 and most of that money has yet to be spent.
Schumer and Pelosi sparred with Trump over the efficacy of the wall in an Oval Office meeting on Tuesday. The first 18 minutes of the meeting was televised.
Trump said the wall would be effective at preventing illegal entry into the U.S. Both Schumer and Pelosi said that it would not and that construction would be a waste of money. They implored Trump not to provoke a government shutdown over the issue. Trump said he would be “proud” to have a shutdown over border security.
Congress passed a series of minibus bills this fall that fund about 75 percent of the government through September 2019. The legislation did not include funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Border security funding is allocated through DHS.
Schumer and Pelosi have offered Trump two proposals to avert a partial government shutdown when funding expires on Dec. 22.
The first is to pass six of the seven outstanding appropriations bills for which there is bipartisan agreement — along with a one-year continuing resolution (CR) for DHS. The second is to pass a one-year CR for all seven bills.
An agreement has yet to be reached.
Even if the House votes for the border wall, the measure would likely die in the Senate since 60 votes are needed for passage.
Republicans have 51 Senate seats. Democrats have 49 Senate seats.