Nancy Pelosi, who will become the Speaker of the House and third in line for the presidency on Thursday, told MSNBC that she will not provide funding for President Donald Trump's border wall. American law requires budgetary bills and financial allocations to begin in the House, giving Democrats the "power of the purse" in a country divided by politics.
In the interview, journalist Savannah Guthrie asked Ms. Pelosi (D-CA) whether she would be willing to provide money specifically for the border wall. Pelosi replied "no."
In clip released before the full interview that will air tomorrow, Pelosi said "We can go through the back and forth. No. How many more times can we say no? Nothing for the wall."
The US government is in a so-called shutdown mode with essential services funded by Republicans who also were unwilling to provide President Trump with the funding he needs to build a border wall on the souther border. Pelosi said in the interview that the shutdown has "nothing to do with" Democrats and remarked that Trump promised in his campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall.
"That is so ridiculous: A. Mexico's not paying for it...and B. We have better use of funds to protect our border," Pelosi said. "The president knows that."
Trump said in a Cabinet meeting today that the shutdown, which has furloughed hundreds of thousands of government employees, will take "as long as it takes," asking Democrats to provide $5 billion in funding for the border wall. "It could be a long time, or it could be quickly."
On Thursday, Democrats are expected to send emergency funding for employees but it is not clear whether the Senate, which is still controlled by Republicans, will pass it and send it to Trump's desk.
Clinton Gillespie is editor