Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’

Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’
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Vice President Pence on Tuesday doubled down on the White House’s demand for funding for a border wall, asserting that the Trump administration "will not be deterred" by what he characterized as "Democrats' obstruction."

“Even as we face a crisis on our southern border, and as 800,000 federal workers go without paychecks, Democrats in Congress have been unwilling to seriously discuss even partial wall funding. President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE and our administration will not be deterred by the Democrats' obstruction. The American people want to see action, and we intend to deliver,” Pence wrote in an op-ed published by USA Today.

Pence urged Democrats to return to the negotiating table to end the partial government shutdown, which entered its 25th day on Tuesday, but did not suggest there would be any wiggle room on the White House’s immigration stance.

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“It’s time for Democrats in Congress to do their job, negotiate in good faith, and reach an agreement that ends the humanitarian and security crisis at our border and reopens the government. The American people deserve nothing less,” Pence wrote.

President Trump has weighed declaring a national emergency to direct the military to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, essentially allowing the government to reopen.

The president said last week that he would be surprised if he did not declare an emergency, while stressing that his preference was for Democrats to help negotiate a funding deal.

Democrats remain in a stalemate with the White House over Trump's demand for more than $5 billion to fund construction of a border wall.

Trump has demanded the money be included in any legislation to reopen the government, roughly a quarter of which has shuttered since Dec. 22.

Pence argued Tuesday that Democrats are ignoring a growing crisis on the southern border, writing that illegal border crossings bring drugs and crime into the country and that migrants are abused on their journey to the U.S.

“Only the willfully blind — or politically blinded — could fail to see the scope and scale of this crisis,” he wrote. 

While a growing number of polls suggest that the public blames Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill for the shutdown, the White House has maintained its border wall demands.

Both the House and the Senate have passed spending bills to reopen the government, but Trump has signaled he wouldn’t sign anything that did not include the requested $5.7 billion.

The president has also rejected a suggestion from Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: FBI investigation in 2016 turned into a 'criminal conspiracy' This week: House impeachment inquiry hits crucial stretch Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules MORE (R-S.C.) that he agree to reopen the government for three weeks while border wall negotiations continue.

A resolution is still not in sight as freshman and sophomore House Democrats, many considered to be moderates, refused to meet with Trump at the White House on Tuesday to hammer out a spending deal.