U.S. President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats on Thursday hardened their positions over a wall being built on the border with Mexico, raising new doubts over their ability to reach a deal just as negotiations were getting underway.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters: “There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation” to fund border security for the rest of this year.
Instead, Pelosi said funding for more ports of entry or additional border security technology was open for negotiation. She added that the 17 House and Senate negotiators should decide the components of the nation’s border security.
But the Democratic negotiators went a step further from Pelosi’s prohibition on wall funds, unveiling a detailed opening position containing no money for any type of additional physical barriers on the border to control the flow of undocumented immigrants and illegal drugs.
Previously, Democrats have supported $1.3 billion for new border fencing this year or improvements to existing fencing.
Asked by reporters about Pelosi’s comment on wall funding, Trump, a Republican, said: “Without a wall, it doesn’t work.”