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Border Wall Showdown Erupts in Oval Office as Schumer, Pelosi Publicly Tussle with Trump

12-11-2018
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Vice President Mike Pence, center, looks on as House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spars with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office (AP Photo)

A shutdown showdown erupted at the White House today – and that's no exaggeration. President Trump met with Democratic congressional leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) for the first time since the midterms to discuss funding the government.

But with the cameras rolling, it turned into a tense exchange inside the Oval Office, as Schumer and Pelosi sparred with Trump.

"You have the White House. You have the Senate. You have the House of Representatives. You have the votes. You should pass it now," Pelosi said.

"No, we don't have the votes, Nancy. Because in the Senate we need 60 votes. We don't have it," Trump said.

The main point of contention: border security. President Trump insisted he's willing to let the government shut down if Congress doesn't approve full funding for his southern border wall.

"So the wall will get built. But we may not have an agreement today. We probably won't," Trump said.

Trump wants $5 billion for his wall. Democrats though are offering only $1.3 billion.

Pelosi and Schumer spoke to reporters after the meeting, and said once the cameras stopped rolling they proposed an idea to the president that includes supporting six government funding bills along with a separate measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels.

Schumer said, "We hope he'll take it. A shutdown hurts too many innocent people and this Trump shutdown, this temper tantrum that he seems to throw will not get him his wall and it will hurt of a lot of people because it will cause a shutdown."

Meantime, Trump says he's willing to use the military for border funding, and CBN News Chief Political Anaylst David Brody says he just might do that.

"I think what's going to be interesting to watch here is what does the president do when Democrats balk at all of this wall funding," Brody said. "In other words, will they be able to give him enough wall funding for him not to go rogue, and what I mean by rogue, is whether or not he's going to use the military and there are certain times and places where he can use military funding to build the wall. It would be controversial. There would be a lot of bad PR with it but he could dip into the Defense Department budget to do it without Congress' approval."

 

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