WASHINGTON — The White House will only agree to reopen the government for three weeks if Congress provides a “large down payment” on the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday.
The statement came as Senate leaders met in the wake of two failed votes to reopen the government.
President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday afternoon that he would be willing to support an agreement between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) if is reasonable.
When pressed on whether or not that could include a proposal that doesn’t include the wall, Trump replied: “I have other alternatives if I have to and I’ll use those alternatives if I have to.”
While Trump did not elaborate on what those alternatives may look like, CNN reported Thursday that the president has begun reexamining the possibility of declaring a national emergency in an effort to bypass Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has since said that she would not back the down payment proposed by the White House.
The partial government shutdown is currently in its 34th day.