House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday that she would be willing to support any compromise border-security legislation that emerges from a bipartisan committee and that she has urged the White House to adopt the same “hands-off” posture.
Her comments come as congressional negotiators are seeking a deal that has to be approved by Feb. 15 – and satisfy President Donald Trump’s demand for border-wall funding – to avert another partial government shutdown.
Pelosi told reporters that she believes the House and Senate negotiators could reach a deal by the end of this week if “left to their own devices.”
Pelosi said she relayed to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., one of the lead negotiators, that “whatever you all come to an agreement on, bipartisan agreement, I will support it.”
“I hope that the administration would have the same attitude and respect for the appropriations process,” Pelosi said. “And I know they can find agreement.”
She added that she had relayed her hope to Vice President Mike Pence “that the White House will have the same hands-off policy as I have vis-a-vis the appropriators.”
Trump, meanwhile, announced plans to hold a campaign rally in the border city of El Paso, Texas, on Monday, four days ahead of the deadline for passing a bill to avert a shutdown.
If a deal is not reached by then, the rally would provide the president an opportunity to make a public case before a friendly audience for his long-promised wall – a demand that led to the 35-day shutdown that ended Jan. 25.
A deal struck between Trump and congressional leaders is keeping the government open until Feb. 15, while congressional negotiators try to reach a compromise that Trump will sign.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · John Wagner, Mike DeBonis, Erica Werner