Trump Still Not Willing to Cave on Border Wall Amid Longest Shutdown
President offered protections for dreamers in exchange for the security barrier in a speech he made over the weekend
President Donald Trump reaffirmed his commitment on Tuesday to standing firm on getting border wall funding as the longest government shutdown reaches a month.
“Without a wall our Country can never have border or national security,” Trump tweeted.
“With a powerful wall or steel barrier, crime rates (and drugs) will go substantially down all over the U.S. The Dems know this but want to play political games. Must finally be done correctly. No Cave!”
Trump pledged late last year that he would not sign any more spending bills that don’t include $5.7 billion for the southern border security wall.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have only offered to provide $1.3 billion.
The impasse led both sides to the partial government shutdown December 22.
Trump and congressional leaders from both parties have continued discussions to overcome the stalemate.
But despite regular meetings, the two sides have been unable to overcome their differences. Trump has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to funding the border wall, including in a speech over the weekend when he offered protections for the migrant group known as dreamers in exchange for the border wall.
“We are prepared to negotiate on border security and immigration policy, but only after President Trump and Republicans reopen the government and ensure federal employees are paid,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said in response to the speech.
“There is simply no reason that the federal government should be closed and American families harmed while the president and Congress are engaged in a complex policy discussion.”
Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security. With a powerful Wall or Steel Barrier, Crime Rates (and Drugs) will go substantially down all over the U.S. The Dems know this but want to play political games. Must finally be done correctly. No Cave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
The dreamers were brought into the country illegally by their parents as minors. They are named for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Former President Barack Obama provided protections for them through an executive action that established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Trump has previously called the program unconstitutional while also expressing sympathy for the immigrants it was meant to protect. He instead has insisted that lawmakers approve a permanent fix for the issue in a bill.
He later stated the bill should include border wall funding, as well as the end of chain migration and the draft lottery program.
House Democrats have made a few attempts of their own to end the shutdown. They passed two bills intended to fund most of the government while leaving room to debate border security. They later passed four separate appropriations bills. They are now working on another bill to fully fund the government without border wall funding.
The House Democratic bills are unlikely to get far, however, without wall funding unless the president does indeed cave. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he wouldn’t bring up any bills the president wouldn’t sign.
He had made an earlier attempt to avert the government shutdown with a short-term spending bill.
Pelosi has argued that Senate Republicans should support the Democratic plans because they’re based on legislation they passed or advanced through committees. But Trump has since made clear he won’t sign anything that does not include border wall funding, including short-term bills.
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