Trump has threatened to shut down the government on Dec. 21 if Democrats don't assent to $5 billion in funding for the wall. A year-end spending deal that funds one-quarter of the federal government must be passed by that date.
Pelosi, the current Democratic House Minority Leader, says wall funding is not on the table, even in exchange for legal protections for the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, a key Democratic goal.
Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that the two concepts should not be linked, and that Democrats consider the wall "immoral, ineffective, expensive."
"[Trump] also promised Mexico would pay for it, so even if they did, it's immoral still and they're not going to pay for it," she said.
Protecting borders “is a responsibility we honor, but we do so by honoring our values as well,” she added.
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Key Congressional committees have agreed on six appropriations bills, including a bipartisan Senate bill calling for $1.6 billion in funding for border security. That includes no funding for a wall, said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The funds can only be used for fencing and other security technology.
“The one and only way we approach a shutdown is if President Trump refuses both of our proposals and demands $5 billion or more for a border wall,” said Schumer. He called the wall “a nonstarter” for Democrats.
Schumer said Trump's demands for wall funding were unnecessary, because the administration has not spent more than $1 billion approved for border security in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. “The idea that they haven’t spent last year’s money and they’re demanding such a huge amount this year makes no sense at all,” he said.
But Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) says a shutdown is in Trump's hands, depending on whether he is willing to sign a funding bill that doesn't include wall financing. “It doesn’t matter how much appetite there is for a shutdown anywhere else, if he is willing to have a shutdown over this issue,” Blunt said. “He has given every indication that he would.”
Trump and Schumer will meet with Trump on Tuesday to see if a solution can be reached.