Pelosi vows Dem help after GOP ‘meltdown’ on spending bills

Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDHS chief to Pelosi: Emergency border funding 'has already had an impact' The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Trump faces new hit on deficit MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Democrats stand prepared to help pass a government spending bill and prevent a partial shutdown amid a conservative revolt over border wall funding that’s dashed the plans of GOP leaders to move quickly on the legislation.
 
Pelosi, who’s in line to be Speaker next year, emphasized that the offer stands only if additional border wall funding is not attached to the continuing resolution (CR).
 
“Yes, on the current version, we’re prepared to not only support the resolution, but to support the rule, because that’s what they’ll try to do is bring down the rule,” Pelosi said during a press briefing at the Capitol.
 
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The debate over government spending erupted into chaos Thursday morning when conservative Republicans revolted over the absence of $5 billion in border wall funding — a signature issue of President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE.
 
At a closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller MORE (R-Wis.) and GOP leaders got an earful from those conservatives, some of whom are also clamoring for additional funding for disaster relief.
 
“We still need to remind ourselves that the president got elected with the idea of building the wall," Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsPopulation shifts set up huge House battleground The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems aim to end anti-Semitism controversy with vote today MORE (R-Texas) said as he left the meeting. "I don't think we should give up on the wall."
 
“I don't think the CR's gonna make it,” he added.
 
Failure to reach a deal by midnight Friday would shutter large parts of the federal government.
 
Trump weighed in Thursday morning by suggesting he’ll insist on wall funding, just days after the White House signaled it would seek other ways to secure that money.
 
“When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership. Would be done by end of year (NOW),” he tweeted. “It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries - but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!” 
 
Trump is huddling with GOP leaders at the White House this afternoon to discuss a path forward. 
 
Pelosi said she’s open to tweaks in the CR, but warned that Democrats won’t budge on the wall funding.
 
“We’ll see what they come up with, in terms of disaster assistance,” she said. “But in terms of wall funding, that’s a non-starter. I think they know that.”
 
Pelosi said Republicans “are in a state of disarray,” leaving Democrats in the dark about what happens next.
 
“We’re right in the middle of a sort of meltdown on the part of the Republicans,” she said.
 
Complicating the equation for Ryan and GOP leaders is the fact that dozens of Republican lawmakers — many of them who are either retiring or lost their races and have simply checked out for the year — are not in Washington this week.
 
Those absences will strengthen the hand of Democrats — a dynamic that has not been overlooked by Pelosi.
 
“They have a lot of people who are missing, who are absent here, so they never did have the votes for their wall,” Pelosi said. “But they now don’t even have a full complement of members here.”
 
Speaking at the same press conference, Pelosi weighed in on other administration actions, including recent reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to introduce a proposal that would tighten restrictions on food stamp recipients.
 
"The administration is now deciding they will make an assault on poor people in America," she said, adding that Trump will soon "undo the bipartisan agreement that was reached -- House and Senate -- in the farm bill in terms of nutrition for people in America."
 
"They will undo that," she said. "Why? Why at Christmas would you take food out of the mouths of the American people?"
 
Updated at 1:44 p.m.