Pelosi rejects Trump’s wall ‘down payment’ proposal

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs On The Money: Trump signs short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown | Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 | California high court strikes down law targeting Trump tax returns Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel MORE (D-Calif.) wasted no time Thursday rejecting President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates 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 McConnellOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs Trump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms Congressional authority in a time of Trump executive overreach MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump signs short-term spending bill to avert shutdown Senators urge Trump to suspend Huawei license approvals Tensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' 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.

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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.

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 ThuneSenators grill safety regulator over self-driving cars Tensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul 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.”