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“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace pressed Vice President Mike Pence on the fact that Republican lawmakers could immediately reopen the government, if they wanted, and then negotiate with Democrats about funding for President Donald Trump’s desired border wall.
Wallace noted that the 30-day partial government shutdown is now the longest in United States history, with 800,000 federal employees either not working or being forced to work without pay as the president has refused to reopen government over his demands for $5 billion in border wall funding.
“The American people want action on our southern border,” Pence insisted. “They want border security. Eight-hundred thousand federal workers want us to find a way to open the government.”
“You could open the government tomorrow,” Wallace said.
Wallace repeated the statement two more times and then asked: “The House has passed bills to open the government tomorrow, why don’t you sign them and open the government and then you can negotiate about this?”
“Chris, what the American people want us to do is to work on their priorities and the American people want us to secure the border,” Pence replied.
“No,” Wallace pushed back. “Isn’t that you just want the leverage and you figure if you don’t keep the government closed then [Republican border wall plans] are going to go nowhere?”
Pence explained that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has vowed not to give President Donald Trump more than a dollar for his border wall even if the government is temporarily reopened for negotiations.