Minority Whip Steve Scalise told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto that the responsibility to end the government shutdown for the long term sits squarely on the shoulders of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi and President Donald Trump have been at odds for weeks about funding for the government, due to the president’s demand for more than $5 billion for a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
The shutdown was ended, temporarily, last Friday, with a three-week retrieval signed by the president, under the condition that Democrats negotiate further about the long-term funding for border security.
“Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn’t negotiate during the shutdown. OK, now the shutdown is over for the time being,” Scalise told Cavuto. “Will she finally start to be willing to put a dollar amount on the table, to say how much is she willing to put together to support securing the border?”
According to Scalise, Trump’s demand for the $5 billion-plus is backed up by experts who believe that’s what is needed to secure the border, but Democrats are playing politics.
“It’s going to take at least 5 and a half billion dollars — our experts who risk their lives have said that’s what it will take to secure our border,” Scalise said. “What’s Nancy Pelosi willing to put on the table now that we’re out of the shutdown?
When asked by Cavuoto exactly what Republicans like himself are looking for from the speaker, Scalise replied that any funding bill that she presents needs to be “a serious, credible offer.
“Let’s talk serious. What is your offer? If it’s not $5.7 billion — which is what the experts said — then what is your number, and how do you back it up?”
“I don’t think that’s a tenable position for most Democrats,” Scalise said. “We started seeing over the last few weeks more and more Democrats coming to our side — even Steny Hoyer, the [Democratic] majority leader — said physical barriers ought to be part of the solution.”
— Neil Cavuto (@TeamCavuto) January 29, 2019