In a Tuesday statement from Pelosi and Schumer, the Democratic leaders said, "Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans in Congress have repeatedly urged the President and Leader McConnell to end the Trump Shutdown and re-open the government while Congress debates the President's expensive and ineffective wall".
Speaking moments after Trump made his case for the wall in an Oval Office address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a national television audience that the president's rhetoric has been "full of misinformation and even malice". "The border wall would very quickly pay for itself", Trump said, adding that such a wall would be paid for indirectly by the the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
The four living ex-presidents do not back Trump up on that claim.
He asserts that the government remains shut down because Democrats won't fund border security.
The president said that all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration. "Our responsibility is to do what we think is in the best interest of the American people and the effective and efficient operations of their government".
"Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who have illegally entered our country", Trump said.
Trump has been discussing the idea of declaring a national emergency to allow him to move forward with the wall without getting congressional approval for the $5.7 billion he's requested.
Any lingering questions as to how President Donald Trump address to the nation was going to play out at 9 PM ET Tuesday got answered Tuesday morning when a Trump re-election campaign ad was unfurled on the TV news landscape.
With his use of a formal White House speech instead of his favored Twitter blasts, Trump embraced the ceremonial trappings of his office as he tries to exit a political quagmire of his own making.
The partial government shutdown reached its 18th day, making the closure the second-longest in history.
Trump sought to put the blame on Democrats for the standoff, saying they "will not fund border security".
Schumer said, "The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a thirty-foot wall".
Seeking to keep up pressure on Trump and the Republicans, Pelosi said the House would begin passing individual bills this week to reopen some federal agencies, starting with the Treasury Department to ensure Americans receive their tax refunds.
"Most presidents have used Oval Office addresses for noble purposes", said Schumer, D-N.Y.