The government shutdown will “go [on] at least another couple of weeks” because President Donald Trump is “holding firm” about securing border wall funding and Democratic leaders are still refusing “to budge on this,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) predicted Wednesday ngith on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
The government partially shut down this past weekend after Trump and members of Congress could not reach agreement over the $5 billion in border wall funding the president is demanding.
With just over a week to go until House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) presumably becomes House speaker as a new Democratic majority takes over, Trump is fighting hard to secure border wall funding while the GOP still controls Congress.
Trump threatened a partial government shutdown over border security two weeks ago during a contentious Oval Office meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-Calif.).
The House ultimately passed a stopgap bill with the $5 billion for the border wall Trump demanded last Thursday. But the Senate, which passed a budget without border wall funding earlier, failed to garner enough votes last week for the budget with border wall funding.
Senators will reconvene on Thursday to tackle the funding stalemate and perhaps negotiate a compromise.
But Trump said Tuesday in a Christmas video that the government is “not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they’d like to call it.”
Biggs told Fox News guest host Lisa Boothe how long he thought the government would remain closed.
“What it’s going to take is [Rep.] Chuck Schumer [of New York] is going to have to bite the bullet and they’re going to have to fund the wall,” Biggs said. “It’s all in Chuck Schumer’s court right now … This is Chuck Schumer’s shutdown right now.”
“Since the president’s holding firm and the Democrats have said they’re not willing to budge on this, I would think we’re going to go at least another couple of weeks, actually,” Biggs added.
The congressman told Boothe that he’s been speaking to his Democratic friends in the House and has asked them why they won’t “give us anything for a border wall.”
“One said, ‘I don’t like the rhetoric that President Trump uses.’ And the other one said, ‘We’re not going to give President Trump a victory,'” Biggs revealed.
“And so what I’m telling you is it is politics, Lisa. That’s the problem … They don’t want President Trump to have a victory. And in so doing, they’re preventing this country from having safety.”
But the first thing that absolutely must happen on border security and immigration reform “really is the border wall,” Biggs said.
“The Ingraham Angle” segment also discussed the Democratic lawmakers’ decision to blame the Trump administration for the deaths of two migrant children. The children passed away after immigration enforcement officials detained them.
Criminal defense and immigration attorney Saman Nasseri urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enact systemic reform to address the immigration and detention crises.
“It’s a very tragic thing that happened, but I think honestly people need to go and talk to the hospitals themselves and see what kind of misdiagnosis was actually done on this child.”
Said Nasseri, “I hate to see when people are using a dying child or a sick child to further any political agenda — Republican, Democrat, it doesn’t matter. That should not be used here for any reason.”
U.S. Border Patrol Council President Art Del Cueto told Boothe that “none of these kids” in the detention facilities “are being mistreated.”
“It’s a very tragic thing that happened, but I think honestly people need to go and talk to the hospitals themselves and see what kind of misdiagnosis was actually done on this child,” Del Cueto said. “The reality is, we need to secure our borders. We need to have security and the people that are elected in political positions need to start caring about the United States citizens and the people they truly represent.”
Check out more in the video below: