From Vice President Mike Pence’s vantage point, the contrast between Washington’s dueling parties has become stark. President Donald Trump on Saturday offered “a good faith compromise” to end the partial federal shutdown while enhancing border security, while Democrats only offer “sound bites.”
Pence appeared Sunday on “Fox News Sunday” with host Chris Wallace. His appearance followed Trump’s offer Saturday to give individuals covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program a three-year extension that allows them to remain in the country. In return, Trump said, Democrats would then agree to fund the $5.7 billion Trump wants for the Border Wall. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, and other Congressional Democrats, rejected the offer.
Pence said Trump “set the table for a deal that will address the crisis on our border, secure our border and give us a pathway to reopen the government” and offered “a good faith compromise to address what is a genuine humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border and end the government shutdown.”
Wallace wondered whether there was wiggle room in Trump’s proposal.
“Well, there’s a legislative process that is going to begin on Tuesday in the United States Senate and it was disappointing to see Speaker Pelosi reject the offer before the president gave his speech,” Pence said.
“I mean, look, the president is offering a solution and what we have from Democrat leadership so far is just sound bites. And the American people want us to work together to resolve these issues,” Pence said.
Pence noted to Wallace that the “legislative process is a negotiation.”
“Literally for the last month, while the president and I have stayed here in Washington and been engaging continuously with Democrat leadership, and with rank-and-file members in the House and Senate, what we heard again and again is we will not negotiate until the president reopens the government. Well, this bill would reopen the government,” Pence said.
Pence emphasized that Pelosi has continually rejected efforts by Trump to resolve the issue of border security and reopen the government.
“What the American people heard yesterday was statesmanship, was the president laying out a genuine compromise, ” he said. “The president has made it clear that we want border security, we want funding for a wall, a steel barrier on the southern border. We want money for additional technology, additional personnel, humanitarian assistance. We want changes in amnesty laws so that children can apply for amnesty in Central American countries.”
Pence noted that one major Democratic policy point is addressed in Trump’s offer.
“The president has now embraced and said he is willing to sign a three-year extension, temporary relief for DACA, three year extension for people with temporary protective status. These are priorities the Democrats have had. The president has embraced them,” he said.
Pence noted that Trump has limits to the offer.
“This is not amnesty, there’s no pathway to citizenship. There’s no permanent status here at all, which is what amnesty contemplates,” he said.
Above all, Pence said, Trump’s proposal advances the priorities the American people support.
“President Trump said bring me all the ideas from both sides, let’s put them all on the table. The president has made it clear what he would support. Now it’s time for the Senate and the House to start voting to secure our border and reopen the government,” Pence said.
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