REAX Of Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To The President's Saturday Address On His Proposed Border Wall

Today President Trump again resorted to blatant and provable falsehoods and to stoking fear of immigrants before outlining what he claims is a compromise.  But this is no compromise.  If anything, it is the result of ‘negotiations’ with his inner circle, not with the Congress, which has Constitutional authority over these decisions.  Offering temporary protections for vulnerable immigrants, protections that he chose to strip in the first place, in exchange for a permanent, $5.7 billion dollar down payment on an ineffective wall is hardly reasonable.  It is a transparent attempt to look reasonable on television while holding the federal government, and millions of Americans, hostage to a shutdown that harms our economy and communities every day.

The President and Senate Republicans should reopen the government now, without any further foot dragging.  We have bipartisan bills before Congress right now to do that, but Senator McConnell refuses to bring them up while the country pays the price.  I welcome a debate on the need for immigration reform and border security, but not while holding hostage all Americans, including hundreds of thousands of federal workers and their families.

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