With the partial government shutdown now in its fourth week, loyalty to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is crumbling. On Wednesday, eight Democratic lawmakers defied their own leadership in order to support President Donald Trump’s border wall in a big way.
On Tuesday, Democrats rejected President Donald Trump’s invitation for a working lunch to discuss ways that both parties might come to a compromise that could end the partial government shutdown over border security.
“Today, the President offered both Democrats and Republicans the chance to meet for lunch at the White House,” announced White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Unfortunately, no Democrats will attend. The President looks forward to having a working lunch with House Republicans to solve the border crisis and reopen the government,” she added.
“As Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi refuse to negotiate, President Donald J. Trump and his team are working hard to find solutions to solve the humanitarian and national security crisis at the border and reopen the government,” Sanders continued.
“The President has a proposal on the table that includes additional technology at ports of entry, allows minors from Central America to seek asylum in their home country, and physical barriers between ports of entry made of steel instead of concrete,” she said.
The Democratic refusal to participate in the meeting comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi maintains an absolutist position that Democrats will not negotiate with Trump over funding for a proposed wall along the U.S. southern border. Trump is demanding $5.7 billion in funding for the wall, but Democratic leaders are saying they’ll only offer $1.6 billion.
The White House expressed hope Tuesday that some moderate Democrats may be willing to break away from their leadership, with officials pointing to the number of Democratic lawmakers newly-elected to Congress who reside in districts that supported Trump in 2016.
Talks screeched to a halt last week when Trump asked Pelosi point blank in the White House Situation Room whether she would negotiate over border wall funds if he re-opened the government. After Pelosi replied that she would not, Trump said “bye bye” and walked out. [Source: The Daily Caller]
It seems that at least some Democrats have grown weary of Nancy Pelosi’s political games, especially when, not so long ago, she supported border security measures wholeheartedly. Indeed, it doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see through her act — she only opposes the wall now that it is part of President Trump’s agenda.
Signaling their faltering loyalty to the new Speaker, eight House Democrats broke ranks with their leadership Wednesday when they voted against an amendment within disaster supplemental aid legislation that would deny funding for the border wall.
The Democrats who voted against the amendment were:
- New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi
- South Carolina Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham
- Oklahoma Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn
- New Jersey Democratic Rep. Andy Kim
- Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb
- Minnesota Democratic Rep. Colin Peterson
- Michigan Democratic Rep. Elise Slotnik
- New Jersey Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew.
“I have said multiple times that I support some element of a physical barrier as part of an overall package on border security, but it’s also got to include more funding for border agents, it’s got to include more technology,” said Rep. Brindisi. “But I’ve always been consistent in saying if the experts tell us a physical barrier makes sense, I will support it.”
President Trump’s proposal does include funding for border patrol agents and increased technology, so it only makes sense for the Democrats to come to the table.
Ultimately, the amendment these eight Democrats voted against passed 230 — 197, and the Disaster Supplemental Appropriations Act passed 237 – 187. However, the fact that so many lawmakers on the political left are standing up to Pelosi while supporting Trump’s border wall, speaks volumes.