Conway on Border Wall Fight: Dems Must Decide If They Want 'Open Borders' or Open Gov't
Battle over wall funding could trigger gov't shutdown.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway joined Bill Hemmer on "America's Newsroom" to discuss the ongoing debate over border security funding and the chances that could lead to a government shutdown.
Congress last week temporarily averted a partial shutdown amid the funeral services for the late President George H.W. Bush, pushing the new deadline to Dec. 21. Trump is set to meet at the White House Tuesday with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to discuss a government spending package – with border wall funding the biggest sticking point.
Trump wants $5 billion for the project, while Democrats are offering $1.3 billion for border security.
"Border security is national security," Conway said. "The president's first and primary duty is to keep the American citizenry safe. And he's trying to do that here."
She noted that Democratic leaders like Schumer and Pelosi have changed their stance on immigration in recent years, which she said was more about politics than national security.
"The Democrats have a central question in front of them, Bill: Do they want to keep the government open or do they want to keep the borders open?"
She noted that the $5 billion in border security is not just for the wall, which last week Pelosi called "immoral."
Conway said Pelosi -- who's trying to ensure she has enough votes from her party to become House Speaker -- is facing pressure from more progressive Democrats not to bend on the border wall funding fight.
She said Trump is willing to reach across the aisle, but what he's calling for is "close the borders and keep the government open."
"The question for the Democrats [is], do they agree?"