Pelosi rejects Trump’s wall ‘down payment’ proposal

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris MORE (D-Calif.) wasted no time Thursday rejecting President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE’s proposal for a “down payment” on a border wall as a condition to reopen the government.

Walking off the House floor, Pelosi said the proposal is "not a reasonable" one.

Moments earlier, Trump told reporters at the White House that he had a number of “alternatives” for reopening the government with funding for his border wall. Among them, he said, is demanding that Democrats agree to “some sort of pro-rated down payment on the wall.” He did not put a figure on the request.

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“We have to have the wall,” Trump said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done MORE (D-N.Y.) had huddled in the Capitol shortly before Trump spoke.

The Senate had just rejected two competing bills to reopen the government — one championed by Republicans and the other by Democrats — and the party leaders are searching for a path forward.

Trump, asked if he would support a hypothetical McConnell-Schumer compromise, was elusive.

“If they come to a reasonable agreement I would support it, yes,” he said.

The back-and-forth came on day 34 of the budget impasse, which has denied funding for roughly a quarter of the federal government, including the Department of Homeland Security.

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Trump has insisted that any spending package include $5.7 billion for new construction of a wall on the U.S. Mexico border he’d promised voters during the 2016 campaign.

Democrats have countered with billions of dollars for border security measures — including stronger surveillance technologies, more immigration judges and new roads — but have rejected any funding for extending existing border walls.

On Friday morning, Pelosi and other Democratic leaders are expected to release an outline of their own homeland security plan, which is expected to match Trump’s $5.7 billion figure for the southern border — without a wall.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal Senators say they have deal on 'major issues' in infrastructure talks MORE (R-S.D.), the majority whip, said Thursday’s Senate votes, despite the failure of both measures, will jump-start “earnest” negotiations after weeks of tension and bitter deadlock between the parties.

“These votes, I think, put the pressure on both sides to meet,” he said walking off the chamber floor after the votes. “I think you’re going to see our leaders sit down, I think in an earnest way — hopefully with input from others.

“We have to figure out a way to broker an end to this.”