In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Pence said the White House had no plans to back down from Trump's demand for $5 billion border wall funding, even if it involved keeping the government partially closed for a long time, Presstv Reported.
“The president has made it very clear: No wall, no deal,” Pence said. “We’re here to make a deal, but it’s a deal that’s going to result in achieving real gains on border security, and you have no border security without a wall. We will have no deal without a wall.”
The US vice president also said the Trump administration was "completely focused" on building the border wall and passing legislation that provides "resources and tools" for those who enforce immigration laws in the country.
Pence made the comments just hours after the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said Democrats in the lower chamber of Congress would refuse to give Trump funding for his border wall project.
"We're not doing a wall. It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with a wall which is an immorality between countries. It's an old way of thinking. It isn't cost effective," Pelosi told reporters late on Thursday.
During the Thursday interview, Pence repeatedly said the White House was willing to negotiate with Democrats to sort out some kind of compromise.
“We really are prepared to negotiate, we’re prepared to talk, we’re prepared to listen,” the vice president said. “I want the American people to know that this is a real crisis at our border, and we made progress last year.”
Congressional leaders from both parties are scheduled to meet with Trump at the White House on Friday for a second time this week to discuss the shutdown, which began shortly before Christmas and is stretching into its third week with no end in sight.
The shutdown has forced around 800,000 federal workers to work without pay or expecting to be furloughed.
Trump made the wall a key election campaign promise in 2016, saying Mexico would pay for it and claiming it is needed to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Democrats have time and again called a border wall immoral, ineffective and medieval.