WASHINGTON-House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on January 31 there would not be any money for President Donald Trump's proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border in the deal being worked out by a bipartisan negotiating team.
A bipartisan group of House-Senate negotiators met for the first time Wednesday, and Pelosi addressed the issue at a session with reporters on Thursday. She did, however, say there were ongoing negotiations for "certain localities where technology [and] some infrastructure" might be necessary.
"There's not going to be any wall money in the legislation", she told reporters.
Pelosi's stance came as Trump used Twitter to reiterate his demands on the wall and appeared to sour on the congressional talks aimed at striking a deal with Democrats.
In response to Pelosi's comments, Trump cited migrant caravans traveling to the US from parts of Central America and claimed that "Nancy Pelosi will be begging for a wall".
Pelosi suggested she would be open to vehicle barriers called "Normandy fencing". I've got you covered.
Donald Trump's frustration over his campaign to fence off the US-Mexican border spilled into linguistic territory Thursday when the president declared himself fed up with people dancing around what to call his dreamed-of barrier. He's referencing what we already have, nearly 700 miles of wall.
The committee will likely have to wrap up its work around February 10 to meet a February 15 deadline set when Trump and lawmakers agreed last week to end a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in USA history. The Democratic measure, totalling almost $22bn for US customs, border patrol and immigration agents, would significantly increase spending for scanners at ports of entry, humanitarian aid for apprehended migrants and new aircraft to police the US-Mexico border.
On Friday, Trump and Democrats reached a deal that did not include funding for the border wall.
"Let them work their will", she said of the appropriators serving on the conference committee. But they also predict privately that the White House is eager to grab an agreement and declare victory - even if winning only a fraction of Trump's request. "Are there places where enhanced fencing, Normandy fencing, will work?" She said the Trump administration has failed to demonstrate that physical barriers are cost effective compared with better technology and more personnel.
Pelosi said there was already more than 600 miles of barriers along the Mexican border, including 300 miles of "Normandy" fencing, a metal barrier created to block people and vehicles.