Border Patrol Council president 'all for' government shutdown, despite pay loss

Geraldine Edwards
January 7, 2019

House Democrats muscled through legislation Thursday night to fund the government but not Trump's proposed wall.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence talk as they walk down the steps of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, January 5, 2019, in Washington.

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"I would like to see [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] bring the House-passed bills to the Senate floor".

One Democrat, Chris Van Hollen, said in his party's weekly radio address that the shutdown "is part of a larger pattern of a president who puts his personal whims and his effort to score political points before the needs of the American people..."

Trump said Friday's talks with Democrats had been "productive", but Democrats described them to the press as "somewhat contentious". Pence again will lead negotiations on Sunday afternoon, and the president headed to the official White House retreat appearing eager to portray himself as involved in the talks.

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Democrats, who took control of the House of Representatives last week, passed a bill to reopen the government without providing additional funding for the wall, and have insisted that reopening the government should not be contingent upon wall construction funds.

"Let's get those reopened while the negotiations continue", she said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

The shutdown has left the Smithsonian museums, a major tourist draw, shuttered, garbage piling up at national parks, and workers concerned about paying their bills. And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., suggested Sunday that pressure would only mount amid the shutdown, which he said is disrupting Transportation Security Administration operations, home loans and farmers in his state.

"We need to open up government and then negotiate".

Adding to concerns, federal workers might miss this week's paychecks.

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser, also attended the meeting at the White House, along with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

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Trump says he's still mulling declaring a national emergency to try to circumvent Congress. "I don't ... establish any language standards for my colleagues, but I don't think it's anything worse than what the president has said".

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called it a "non-starter".

The President acknowledged the possibility of using emergency powers to fund the wall during remarks in the Rose Garden on Friday, saying "we can call a national emergency because of the security of our country". The president tweeted on December 18 that "we are not building a Concrete Wall, we are building artistically designed steel slats, so that you can easily see through it".

"I can relate, and I'm sure the people who are on the receiving end will make adjustments; they always do", Trump said. "We're going to support national emergency".

Democrats have signalled they could accept a deal that precluded a concrete wall but provided funding for a steel barrier. His administration already has spent millions constructing wall prototypes near the border in San Diego.

"That should help us move in the right direction", he said.

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