House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were set to push back on President Donald Trump's Oval Office address Tuesday night calling for the construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Pelosi and Schumer have taken a firm stance against including any money for a southern border barrier as part of a deal to reopen nine federal agencies that have been affected by a partial government shutdown.
Trump, however, has refused to accept any funding agreement that excludes billions of dollars toward the construction of a border wall, calling the situation at the border a "Humanitarian and National Security crisis."
By Tuesday, the shutdown of about 25 percent of the government had stretched out to 18 days, making it the second-longest on record.
Trump had initially said he would be "proud" to shut down the government in pursuit of a wall, which he has described as a necessity for protecting the very existence of the country. But he has since shifted to blame the gridlock on Democrats, many of whom have in turn labeled the wall a "vanity project" for the president.
The two Democratic leaders were expected to deliver their response to Trump from the speaker's balcony in the U.S. Capitol building after the president's televised 9 p.m. ET address had concluded.