Politics

‘No’ Way Will Trump Yield on Border Wall Funding

Rep. Mark Meadows said president will receive some of $5 billion he requested, while Pelosi mocks the 'beaded curtain'

Image Credit: Shutterstock & NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

There is “no” way that President Donald Trump would accept Democratic lawmakers’ current offer of a mere $1.3 billion in border wall funding in a budget compromise to reopen the government, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) warned Wednesday on CNN’s “Inside Politics.”

The government partially shut down this past weekend after Trump and members of Congress failed to reach an agreement over $5 billion in border wall funding.

With less than two weeks to go until House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) presumably becomes House speaker as a new Democratic majority takes over, Trump is fighting hard to pass border wall funding while the GOP still controls Congress.

The president threatened a partial government shutdown over border security two weeks ago during a contentious Oval Office meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-Calif.) and Pelosi.

Although Trump appeared to waver briefly in favor of keeping the government open and funded, he doubled down last Thursday as the House considered a bill without wall funding.

The House ultimately passed a stopgap bill with the $5 billion for the border wall Trump demanded last Thursday.

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The Senate, which passed a budget without border wall funding earlier, failed to garner enough votes last week for the budget with border wall funding.

Senators will reconvene on Thursday to tackle the funding stalemate negotiate a compromise.

Pelosi even joked to USA Today in an interview published Tuesday that Trump would be desperate enough to accept a compromise for “a beaded curtain” border wall.”

“First of all, the fact … that he says, ‘We’re going to build a wall with cement, and Mexico’s going to pay for it’ while he’s already backed off of the cement — now he’s down to, I think, a beaded curtain or something, I’m not sure where he is,” Pelosi said.

But Trump said Tuesday in a Christmas video that the government is “not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they’d like to call it.”

“I’ll call it whatever they want, but it’s all the same thing,” Trump added.

“It’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country,” he added.

“But other than that, I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas.”

Related: Reagan’s Son Urges Trump to Stand Firm on Wall Funding: It’s ‘Now Or Never’

Meadows met with Trump on Saturday to discuss the shutdown and has spoken with him since then.

The lawmaker told CNN’s Manu Raju on Wednesday, “I don’t think there’s any situation where the president should give up on” his demand for border wall funding.

“I can tell you that the president is very firm in his resolve that we need to secure our border and he is encouraging me and others to enter in[to] discussions with Democrats,” Meadows said.

“But, as you mentioned, I don’t know [that] there’s a lot of progress that has been made today.”

Meadows told Raju that Trump’s resolve “is very firm” and that the president thinks he has made “several offers that would result in a compromise” to Democrats.

“And yet, at the same time, it hasn’t been received by my Democrat colleagues in a manner that would suggest that they’re taking his resolve seriously,” Meadows said.

“I can tell you, that if they believe this president is going to yield on this particular issue, they’re misreading him.”

“They’re misreading the American people because he’s intent on making sure that not only he follows through with this commitment to the American people, but that he makes sure that our borders are secure, that there’s less drugs, less terrorists, less human trafficking, drug trafficking that takes place,” Meadows added.

When Raju asked Meadows if there was “any way” Trump would accept the $1.3 billion in border wall funding that Democrats offered, he replied, “I’d say no, no evidence that would suggest that he would come even close to 1.3.”

“I mean listen — they were at 0. He is at $5 billion. The average person says, ‘Well, certainly there should be a compromise.’ Well, that compromise is not $1.3 billion,” Meadows warned.

“So I don’t see that as a reasonable counter offer with my Democrat colleagues, Manu.”

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