Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that Democrats’ rejection of the deal the White House offered this weekend aimed at ending the partial government shutdown was disappointing but hinted there was still room for negotiating.
“There’s a legislative process that is going to begin on Tuesday in the United States Senate,” Pence said on “Fox News Sunday” of President Donald Trump’s offer.
The president proposed extending relief for immigrants with temporary protected status and those brought to the country illegally as children in exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for a steel barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, along with money to address other needs at the border.
Trump said Saturday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to put the president’s deal up for a vote this week. Democrats dismissed the offer — despite it containing legislation crafted in part by members of their caucus — demanding that the president reopen the government before they negotiate border security.
Asked why the White House had not taken that route, Pence cited the insistence of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at a meeting weeks ago that she would not provide the president with funding for a border wall even if he agreed to open the government for another 30 days to allow for talks.
“It was disappointing to see Speaker Pelosi reject the offer before the president gave his speech,” Pence said. “The president is offering a solution and what we have from Democrats so far is just soundbites.”