As congressional lawmakers began negotiations Wednesday, Democrat leaders said they would not draw a hard line against ‘barrier’ funding at the southern border.
The talks commenced in an attempt to come to an agreement prior to a possible second shutdown in mid-February.
Politico reports that while an agreement was not reached on day one, Democrat figures professed they “will not take a hard line upfront against funding for a border barrier.”
“We’re going into this conference, and we’re open to everyone’s facts and figures,” House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) said to reporters. “Everything’s on the table.”
Top Democrats refused to rule out extra funding for some kind of added barrier at the border as congressional deal-makers started negotiations Wednesday aimed at a compromise that could stave off a second shutdown https://t.co/31Wy9Ez8e8
— POLITICO (@politico) January 30, 2019
Barrier or Wall?
Aside from getting hung up on semantics such as whether or not to call it a ‘barrier’ or a ‘wall,’ the Democrat plan appears to focus on technological deterrents.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) said that a comprehensive approach is necessary to secure the border, involving technology, personnel, infrastructure, but also physical barriers.
Lowey countered saying, “Smart border security is not overly reliant on physical barriers.”
Still, on Tuesday, House Democratic Conference Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) discussed a willingness to consider fencing as a solution where it is warranted.
“We are willing to support fencing where it makes sense, but it should be done in an evidence-based fashion,” he said.
Are Democrats Coming Around?
We’re actually surprised to hear Democrat leaders admit they’re not going to flat-out refuse funding for a barrier, considering they refused to budge on the matter during the first shutdown.
But there have been signs of capitulation to a barrier leading up to this point.
Congressman Collin Peterson urged Democrats to “give Trump the money” for a border wall.
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) January 23, 2019
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is on record as opposing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stance that a wall at the southern border represents something immoral.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn has even suggested giving Trump his proposed $5.7 billion for border security measures, though he added the caveat of not allowing it to go to construction of a physical wall.
With all these people urging a compromise to provide a barrier at the Southern border, it seems that only Democrat leadership stands in the way.
Despite all of this, the resistance party emerged from Wednesday’s meetings with a proposal that ultimately did not include funding for Trump’s wall. And the President is rather furious …
Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee are wasting their time. Democrats, despite all of the evidence, proof and Caravans coming, are not going to give money to build the DESPERATELY needed WALL. I’ve got you covered. Wall is already being built, I don’t expect much help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
President Trump has reportedly been working on a proclamation to declare a national emergency at the southern border, freeing up to $7 billion in potential funds to build that wall.
Perhaps that’s the Democrat plan – open up the idea of building what they’ll call a barrier knowing full-well Trump plans to go around Congress anyway. That way he’ll only get a fraction of what he’d get declaring the emergency and they can still go back to their low-information voters and say ‘see, we didn’t give him a wall.’