Bustos Calls for Dems to Compromise on Wall Funding: 'There's Gotta Be Some Give and Take'

January 4, 2019

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, chair of the Democratic Congressional Committee, on Friday called for Democrats to give a little to make a deal and reopen the government.

Bustos’ openness to negotiation contrasts sharply with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D., Calif.) contention that a wall is "an immorality." Bustos compared Congress to her children and said there always has to be "give and take."

"We could have a starting point where we go in and say 'this is ideally what we would like to see happen,' but in the end, we might have to give and take a little bit. It's the way the world works. I am a mother of three sons and it's the way I work with my husband and with my children, it's just the way the world works," Bustos said. "Why should we in Congress, in this building in the U.S. Capitol be different than the way anything else works in the world?"

CNN’s John Berman asked specifically about a budget deal, and Bustos said there’s "room for a deal" because both sides can make compromises.

"The room for a deal is that there has got to be some give and take," Bustos said, referring to her time working in the private sector.

"If we are unwilling to do that, we will not improve the way this place—I am standing in the U.S. Capitol right now, and we will not improve the way Congress functions," she added. "If it were up to me I would go into a room and lock the door and say we are not going to leave until we open up the government again. It's not that hard."

Bustos is the highest-ranking Democrat in the House to push for making a deal after Pelosi set a hard line against funding for Trump’s border-security priorities, although she said her leadership position over the DCCC doesn’t put her in the room for the government shutdown negotiations. However, she did support making a deal to get Democratic priorities done, mentioning "roads, bridges, and waterways" and a "trillion-dollar infrastructure plan," something Trump has said he wants to do.