Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that “if there’s no wall, there’s no deal” to end the partial government shutdown that’s wrapping up its second week, just hours after newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said House Democrats would not give President Donald Trump funding for his border wall.
“Bottom line, if there’s no wall, there’s no deal,” Pence told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
While he expressed openness to negotiating an end to the shutdown, the wall was a clear sticking point: “We are here to make a deal, but it’s a deal that’s going to result in achieving real gains. … We will have no deal without a wall,” he said.
The vice president warned of a “real crisis at our border,” citing the so-called caravans, the “flow of narcotics” and the “literally 2,000 people a day” who attempt to enter the United States.
Pressed repeatedly on the possibility of a deal including amnesty for those already in the country illegally, Pence told Carlson that he has heard “no discussion of that.”
Shortly after being sworn in as speaker of the House in the new Congress, Pelosi called the President’s wall “a waste of money” and “an immorality” during a news conference.
“We’re not doing a wall,” the California Democrat said emphatically. “Does anybody have any doubt? We are not doing a wall.”
Congressional leaders are set to meet with Trump at the White House on Friday for a second time this week to discuss the shutdown.