Schumer met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday. The Kentucky Republican proposed an appropriations bill that includes money for border security fencing, as well as what a Senate Democratic aide described as a $1 billion "slush fund" that Trump could use on his immigration policies. Democrats rejected the deal.
A McConnell spokesman later told NBC News that the "hypothetical slush fund" would not go toward a wall. Speaking to reporters Tuesday afternoon, McConnell said he offered a plan to Schumer that he "thought was reasonable to both sides." He later heard back from the Democratic leader "that the offer was not acceptable," McConnell said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Schumer told reporters that he thought the "Republican offer today would not pass either chamber." However, he said Democrats would "very seriously consider" a short-term measure to keep the government open if McConnell offered it.
Despite the lack of a deal, the Senate GOP leader said he is confident the government will not shut down. McConnell said he is consulting the White House on how to move forward, and he hopes to hear more later Tuesday about what the president would support. He called the Trump administration "extremely flexible" on the issue.
In proposing $1.6 billion in border security funding, Schumer has said it would go to building new or repairing existing fences, rather than the wall as Trump has proposed it. The White House appears to want to claim that funding as "wall" money to promote a victory.
Trump has also claimed his administration has built large portions of the wall. But Congress has only authorized money to build fencing similar to existing structures. The president has also contended that the military could build the wall — though the Pentagon has said it has no plans to do so, yet.
On Tuesday, Pelosi told reporters that "we'll see" if negotiations with the White House make any progress. She said the wall "is not about money," but rather "about morality."
"It's the wrong thing to do. It doesn't work. It's not effective. It's the wrong thing to do and it's a waste of money," the California Democrat said, according to NBC News.
The president has already signed spending bills for five government agencies, including the massive departments of Defense and Health and Human Services, into law. Lawmakers still have not passed spending bills for five agencies. Trump's push for wall money as part of Department of Homeland Security funding has snagged talks to dodge a shutdown.
Schumer said Tuesday morning that he and Pelosi had not heard from the White House on two offers Democrats made to avoid a shutdown. One includes appropriations bills for six agencies and a yearlong continuing resolution to fund DHS. The other would pass a continuing resolution to keep all seven departments running.
Schumer again urged Republicans to support one of those plans on Tuesday afternoon.
Leaving McConnell's office Tuesday, the New York Democrat said he had not heard a "peep" from the White House, according to NBC News.
As only about a quarter of the government would shut down this weekend, it would have only limited effects. Along with Homeland Security, the unfunded agencies are the departments of Transportation, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development and Justice.
While some functions like national parks would close down, some employees and law enforcement officers at those agencies would continue working without getting paid temporarily. Those would include employees such as FBI, border patrol and Transportation Security Administration agents.
WATCH: Controversial walls in history