Time To Negotiate On Border Security

With An Agreement To Reopen The Government, It’s Time For Democrats To Keep Their Word, Come To The Table, And Negotiate Seriously On Border Security


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Going forward, I hope Democrats will stay true to the commitment they have stated constantly over the past weeks – that once government was re-opened, they would be perfectly willing to negotiate in good faith on full-year government funding that would include a significant investment in urgently needed border security measures, including physical barriers. After all, the only way that federal workers are going to have stability and certainty beyond the next three weeks, the only way our border is going to have real security, is if Democrats will stop playing partisan games and get serious about negotiating with the president on a long-term compromise. The days ahead will tell us whether my Democratic colleagues are actually serious about securing our nation; whether they actually mean what they say.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 1/25/2019)


‘Democrats Are Happy To Discuss Border Security Under Regular Order With The Government Open’

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “Right now, there is a path:  Open up government.  Let’s have this discussion on where we can agree on the best ways to protect our borders, to secure our borders …” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 1/10/2019)

  • SPEAKER PELOSI: “Democrats were hopeful that the President was finally willing to re-open government and proceed with a much-needed discussion to protect the border.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Release, 1/19/2019)

HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): “We ought to open the government up…. Get people back to work. And then let’s sit around the table and see where the common ground is.” (“Fox News Sunday,” 1/20/2019)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Democrats are happy to discuss border security under regular order with the government open. We support stronger border security…. [T]here is no reason we can’t negotiate and figure it out.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S. 543, 1/24/2019)

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): “Let’s open government, let’s have 3 weeks, and let’s all be committed to deal with border security in the manner in which this institution in the past has been able to deal with tough issues.” (Sen. Cardin, Congressional Record, S. 567, 1/24/2019)

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): “I will state complete willingness to negotiate with this President and my colleagues over border security.” (Sen. Kaine, Congressional Record, S. 547, 1/24/2019)

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): “Let’s consider the President’s proposal…. This Senator will commit to good-faith negotiations. This Senator will commit to supporting increased border security beyond what we just voted on in the so-called Democratic proposal.” (Sen. Warner, Congressional Record, S. 561, 1/24/2019)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “[W]e are intent on making a good-faith effort to reopen the government for 3 weeks, to promptly support good-faith negotiations, to address the President’s priorities, to discuss what effective, modern investment in border security …” (Sen. Coons, Congressional Record, S. 561, 1/24/2019)

SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-AZ): “Recently, the President asked the Congress to consider appropriations for border security. I stand in support of working together across the aisle with my colleagues in the Senate to answer that request. Arizona needs enhanced funding for border security …” (Sen. Sinema, Congressional Record, S. 561, 1/24/2019)

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): “I want to be very clear. I am very supportive of border security and of increasing border security. There also may be cases in which there may be parts of the border at which some kind of barrier makes sense and is cost-effective … Take the problem of the shutdown away. Then we can have a discussion and a debate and find a solution through a process …” (Sen. King, Congressional Record, S. 563, 1/24/2019)

SEN. MAGGIE HASSAN (D-NH): “I join with my colleagues in being here this afternoon to simply say that we need to open the government and that I am committed, as all of us are, to negotiate in good faith going forward to find a solution on border security.” (Sen. Hassan, Congressional Record, S. 566, 1/24/2019)


Congressional Democrats: ‘Physical Barriers Are Part Of The Solution,’ ‘Certainly, You Need Barriers’

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “Yes, will we end up with more fences and barriers at the end of the day? We’ve done it for two straight years. We’re likely to do it again.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 1/17/2019)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “I voted to fund President Trump’s wall. Check the vote.” (“Manchin Touts Support For Trump Border Wall In New Ad,” The Hill, 6/14/2018)

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): “I know we’re going to have to add additional border security…. We’ve got about 700 miles of existing fencing. Where folks say we need additional barrier protections, I’m all for it.” (Fox News’ “Your World w/ Neil Cavuto,” 1/23/2019)

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): “Everybody is for border security. The question is, let’s do it in a rational, economic, sensible way. There are places where wall makes sense …” (CNN’s “New Day,” 1/07/2019)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “I personally don’t think that a border wall is in and of itself immoral.” (“Fox News Sunday,” 1/13/2019)

SEN. TOM CARPER (D-DE): “I am a huge advocate of border security. I think fencing makes sense in a lot of places. We have hundreds of miles of fencing, and in a lot of places, fences alongside roads make sense.” (Sen. Carper, Congressional Record, S. 194, 1/15/2019)

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): “Certainly, you need barriers. And we support barriers.” (CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” 1/04/2019)

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): “Some fencing is useful. Some barriers are useful.” (CNN’s “New Day,” 1/07/2019)


FOX NEWS’ NEIL CAVUTO: “Would you yourself be open for wall funding?”

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER STENY HOYER (D-MD): “Look, I think physical barriers are part of the solution.”  

CAVUTO: “You don’t share Nancy Pelosi’s view that a wall is immoral?”

REP. HOYER: “Look, I think it depends upon what a wall is used for whether it’s moral or immoral. If it’s protecting people, it’s moral, if it’s imprisoning people, it may well be immoral. But that’s not the issue. The issue is we want border security. We want to make sure that people who come into the United States of America are authorized to do so and we know that they’ve come in. We don’t want contraband. We don’t want drugs coming in. We don’t want dangerous people coming into the country. So we’re for border security and I think we can get there.

(Fox News’ “Your World w/ Neil Cavuto,” 1/22/2019)


REP. COLLIN PETERSON (D-MN), House Agriculture Committee Chairman: “Give Trump the money… I’d give him the whole thing…and put strings on it so you make sure he puts the wall where it needs to be. Why are we fighting over this? We’re going to build that wall anyway, at some time.” (“Peterson Says Democrats Should ‘Give Trump The Money’ For Border Wall,” KFGO, 1/22/2019)

REP. ADAM SMITH (D-WA), House Armed Services Committee Chairman: “The wall is not in itself a bad idea, it’s just – it’s been done.” (ABC News, 1/06/2019)

REP. CHERI BUSTOS (D-IL), DCCC Chair: “If we have a partial wall, if we have fencing, if we have technology used to keep our borders safe, all of that is fine …” (“DCCC Chair Signals Support For ‘Partial Wall’ Funding: ‘There’s Got To Be Some Give And Take,’” The Washington Times, 1/04/2019)

REP. ANTHIONY BRINDISI (D-NY): “Some element of a physical barrier, better technology, more border agents are all things I support.” (“CNY Reps. Katko and Brindisi Share Common Goals: End the Shutdown, Strengthen Southern Border,” WAER, 1/11/2019)

REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN (D-MI): “[A]m I willing to talk about more fencing and more drones and technology and radar and border agents? Absolutely.” (The New York Times, 1/19/2019)


FOX NEWS’ KRISTIN FISHER: “You were saying that you would support some funding for some kind of physical barrier at the border, is that right?”

REP. KATIE HILL (D-CA): “Yeah…. We know that there’s already fencing and other physical barriers across the border in many different places, but there are gaps, and we need to find ways of filling those gaps, repairing the fencing…. For many of us there’s not really doubt that some kind of physical barrier is necessary.” (Fox News, 1/12/2019)


“Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) stood up in the closed-door meeting Wednesday to urge fellow Democrats to consider trading some amount of wall funding for legal protections for the thousands of immigrants brought the country as children …” (“Freshman Dems Feeling The Heat As Shutdown Drags On,” Politico, 1/09/2019)

“‘I’m not going to rule anything out, I really am not,’ [Rep. Colin] Allred [D-TX] responded when asked if he would support some border wall funding in exchange for Democratic immigration priorities.” (“Freshman Dems Feeling The Heat As Shutdown Drags On,” Politico, 1/09/2019)

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): “And there are numerous things that need to be done to enhance border security. Certainly, fences and walls are a piece of it …” (CNN, 12/13/2018)

REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER (D-VA): “If I am getting comments and contact from my constituents expressing concern that the Democrats are not prioritizing security, then I think we can do better.” (“Freshman Dems Feeling The Heat As Shutdown Drags On,” Politico, 1/09/2019)

“A group of centrist House Democrats … led by Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia, is asking the [Speaker Pelosi] to offer Trump a vote on his border wall sometime in February if he signs a bill reopening the federal government, according to a draft copy of the letter obtained by POLITICO…. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have vowed not to negotiate on Trump’s border wall with Mexico until the president reopens the government …” (“Centrist Dems Urge Pelosi To Break Shutdown Stalemate,” Politico, 1/22/2019)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Homeland Security, Immigration, Infrastructure