Pence defends shutdown: Never a mistake to 'stand up for what you believe'

Vice President Pence on Wednesday defended the 35-day government shutdown in an appearance on "CBS This Morning," adding that he could not guarantee that there would not be another one.

When asked whether it was a mistake for President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE to shut down the government in an attempt to get funding for his proposed border wall, Pence responded, “I never think it's a mistake ... to stand up for what you believe in.”


“[Trump] said he was determined to get the funding to build a wall and secure our border and he was willing to take a stand to accomplish that,” Pence continued.

He also defended the decision to temporarily reopen the government, saying that he believed they will be able to work with Democrats to achieve their goals.

“We were told that they were willing to work with us,” Pence said. “They were willing to fund a barrier at our southern border and to address the other priorities that the president laid out.”

The government shut down for more than a month after Democrats and Republicans could not come to a budget agreement. Trump demanded more than $5 billion for a border wall while Democrats offered $1.3 billion for border security measures, leading to the impasse.

Trump said before the shutdown in a meeting with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.”

During the shutdown, many federal employees worked without pay, and Trump’s approval rating plummeted to 32 percent, his lowest in over a year.

If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the government will again shut down on Feb. 15. Trump has threatened to fund the wall by issuing a national emergency declaration if a deal is not made.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is working to reach a compromise deal on border security.

They met last week, but are still working on a deal. Trump said on Twitter that if legislators were not “discussing or contemplating a Wall or Physical Barrier, they are Wasting their time.” Lawmakers did not seem fazed, and Republicans said a deal should be reached regardless of whether Trump will sign off on it.

“Obviously it would be great if the president decided to sign the bill,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellImmigration, executive action top Biden preview of first 100 days Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight McConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report MORE (R-Ky.). “I think we don’t yet know what his view is on this. But I think the conferees ought to reach an agreement and then we'll hope that the president finds it worth signing,” he said.