House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi laid down her position Thursday on the border wall negotiations, proposing an agreement to fund for a full year the Department of Homeland Security while passing the other six remaining spending bills that have already been resolved.
The move would essentially kick the can down the road for another year with a continuing resolution — or CR as commonly referred to on Capitol Hill — on border wall funding, though Pelosi didn’t rule out agreeing to another solution at some point next year.
In her weekly news conference, Pelosi said she was not open to a deal on border wall funding in exchange for a long-term solution on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Donald Trump has sought to end but has been in legal limbo for more than a year.
Pelosi pushed back on the premise that extending the existing Homeland Security funding for another year would still upset some members of her caucus because that would include previously agreed-to money for border security, some of which goes toward fencing at the border.
Pelosi argued that the money was for a “fence,” not a “wall,” and argued that an extension of the existing funding wouldn’t “necessarily” be seen as a stamp of approval for a border wall.
“It depends on how you spend the money,” she said. “It’s border security. It’s about border security.”
Pelosi’s offer was immediately rebuffed by Republican senators.
“My guess is that that offer will not be accepted,” said Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of Senate GOP leadership. Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Senate Republican, told Politico that Pelosi’s offer was “unacceptable.”
With her comments, Pelosi is in line with one of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s two proposals. The other proposal he made was to pass the Senate Homeland Security spending bill, which includes $1.6 billion for border security.
Schumer and Pelosi are scheduled to meet with Trump, who wants $5 billion for the wall, next week.
This post has been updated.