Pelosi Brings Wall Negotiations Back To Square One

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that wall funding will not be part of ongoing congressional negotiations over border security funding in a Thursday morning press conference.

“There will not be any wall money in the legislation,” Pelosi flatly declared Thursday morning, in a major rebuke of President Donald Trump’s strategy to try and obtain border wall funding through congressional negotiations.

Trump partially shut down the U.S. government for nearly three weeks in order to try and force Pelosi and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to come up with a funding agreement for a southern border wall. Democrats, however, remained united in their demand that they would only offer Trump $1.6 billion in border security funding, despite his request for $5.7 billion, which could not be used for the wall.

Trump said last week he would allow the government to reopen for three weeks while a bi-partisan committee tried to forge a solution to his demand, saying that if they could not come to a solution, he would declare a national emergency and build the wall with military funds. The president maintains his demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding.

House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer speak after deal was reached to end partial government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speak after U.S. President Donald Trump announced a deal to end the partial government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Trump himself expressed no optimism about the talks Sunday, telling The Wall Street Journal, “I personally think it’s less than 50-50” chance that a deal with Congress can be reached. Trump added that he doubted he would accept any congressional deal that offered him less than $5.7 billion in funding.

The president told The Daily Caller in an exclusive Oval Office interview Wednesday evening that “there are numerous things we could do, including declaring a national emergency where we have very good law on our side,” declaring again that he will “declare a national emergency if this doesn’t work out.” (RELATED: Trump Says DACA For Wall Deal ‘Highly Unlikely’)