At a press conference on Thursday, presumptive incoming Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) criticized the notion of a border wall, calling it "immoral."
When a reporter asked Pelosi about the possibility that a Continuing Resolution (CR) passed by the House of Representatives might fund a border fence, the congresswoman argued that such funds are for "border security." Pelosi then stated that she believes a wall is a step too far:
... most of us, speaking for myself, consider the wall immoral, ineffective, expensive, and the president said he promised it. He also promised Mexico would pay for it. So, even if they did, it's immoral still ...
We have a responsibility, all of us, to secure our borders – north, south, and coming in by plane ... and that's a responsibility we honor, but we do so by honoring our values as well.
The battle over President Trump’s long-promised southern border wall once again reached a fever pitch on Thursday as the House and Senate passed a stopgap spending bill in order to continue funding the government. The bill gives Democrats and Republicans until December 21 to come up with a budget plan.
Democratic leaders were supposed to meet with President Trump this week, but the meeting had to be rescheduled following the passing of former President George H.W. Bush. It will now take place on Tuesday morning.
According to USA Today, the president "said he would be willing to allow a government shutdown if Congress does not approve $5 billion for construction" of his southern border wall. The $5 billion figure has been a sticking point between Trump and Democratic lawmakers.
On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) echoed Pelosi’s sentiment regarding a border wall, saying the following on the floor of the Senate:
As everyone knows, Democrats have offered to pass the bipartisan DHS appropriations bill, agreed to six months ago, which includes $1.6 billion for border security.
Now there has been some confusion about that figure. Let me be clear: the $1.6 billion cannot be used to construct any part of President Trump’s 30-foot-tall concrete border wall. It can only be used for fencing, using technology currently deployed at the border, and only where the experts say fencing is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature. This is something Democrats have always been for — smart, effective, appropriate border security.
This is so good that every Republican appropriator signed off on that bill a few months ago, including Leader McConnell, Senator Shelby, Senator Rubio, and Senator Graham. They were all for it. This is a bipartisan compromise proposal. Now if they cannot go for that, the proposal they signed off on and negotiated, because President Trump is pounding on the table in an irrational way, there’s a second option.
Schumer then suggested that lawmakers pass multiple "bipartisan appropriations bills and a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security." He also criticized the Trump administration for allegedly not having "a plan" in place for the construction of the proposed wall, as well as having the taxpayers "foot the bill." He added that the wall is simply "political fodder" for the president.