Wallace accused Pence of using the government shutdown and stopping pay for 800,000 federal workers as “leverage.”
Pence told Wallace that “the American people want action on our southern border, they want border security.” He added that “800,000 federal workers want us to find a way to open the government.”
That’s when Wallace jumped in: “You could open the government tomorrow,” then repeated himself three more times, even talking over the vice president as he attempted to respond.
“The House has passed bills to open the government tomorrow,” Wallace said. “Why don’t you sign them and open the government and then you can negotiate about this?”
Pense responded: “Frankly, Chris, what the American people want us to do is work on their priorities, and the American people want us to secure the border.”
“No,” Wallace said. “Isn’t it really that you just want the leverage? And that you figure if you don’t keep the government closed” then negotiations over the border wall are “going to go nowhere?”
IRS worker Christine Helquist joins a federal workers protest rally outside the Federal Building, Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. Payday will come Friday without any checks for about 800,000 federal employees affected by the government shutdown, forcing workers to scale back spending, cancel trips, apply for unemployment benefits and take out loans to stay afloat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
IRS worker Angela Gran, center, and others participate in a federal workers protest rally outside the Federal Building, Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. Payday will come Friday without any checks for about 800,000 federal employees affected by the government shutdown, forcing workers to scale back spending, cancel trips, apply for unemployment benefits and take out loans to stay afloat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Furloughed National Park Service ranger Kathryn Gilson, center, listens as fellow furloughed ranger Sean Ghazala, left, speaks to the media, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, during a press conference and rally at Staten Island’s La Colmena Center in New York. Ghazala is based at Manhattan’s African Burial Ground, and Gilson works at Gateway National Recreation Area, a national park encompassing wetlands surrounding New York city and parts of New Jersey’s coastline. Gilson says she is home “bouncing off the walls” and worrying about paying her bills and student loan. Staten Island is a largely Republican borough of New York city, but Democrat Max Rose recently defeated his Republican opponent in the 2018 congressional elections. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
The majority of Americans oppose the wall, according to a number of polls. Of 17 representatives and senators whose districts in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California include the southern border, only two — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) — support the wall.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.