In an interview with ABC News on Sunday, Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the top Republicans in the House, said that the Democratic Party leadership had absolutely no interest in negotiating to find a good-faith settlement to the government shutdown. Scalise, the Republican whip, said that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi “don’t want to reach a solution” to the shutdown and have declined to provide even a single reasonable counter-offer to President Trump and the GOP.
“Clearly, you’ve seen a number of offers put on the table by President Trump to try and resolve this issue,” Scalise told host George Stephanopoulos. “Not one single time, George, has Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer put a counteroffer on the table except a dollar. Nancy Pelosi said a dollar. That’s not serious, we all know that. It’s time for them to come to the table.”
The shutdown is now moving into unprecedented territory, having broken the 21-day record set in the 1990s. Even with tremendous pressure coming from agencies and outside forces asking Washington to get it together, neither side appears willing to budge when it comes to the crucial issue: Funding for the border wall. President Trump has asked for $5.7 billion, but he’s expressed at least some willingness to move off that number for the right concessions package. Democrats, on the other hand, have remained firm: No more money for the wall, period. Open the government, and then we’ll talk. (But even then, no more money for the wall, as Pelosi told Trump in no uncertain terms).
That kind of situation does not bode well for a compromise, which has led President Trump and White House officials to talk discreetly about using national emergency powers to come up with wall funding that wouldn’t require congressional approval. Perhaps sensing that this kind of talk was weakening his negotiating stand, however, Trump downplayed that possibility this weekend.
In his interview with ABC, Scalise said that Democrats were not interested in finding a compromise.
“Ultimately,” he said, “they don’t want to reach a solution.”