WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump called for Democrats and Republicans to get behind a new proposal for border security spending in order to break the impasse that has paralyzed the federal government for weeks and resulted in a partial government shutdown.
- Proposal still includes funds for "steel barrier"
- Proposal also includes extension of TPS, legislative relief for DACA recipients
- Government shutdown enters record 29th day
- How to Get Help if You're a Federal Worker (Central Florida)
- Assistance Being Offered for Federal Workers During Shutdown (Tampa Bay)
The president started his announcement by reiterating many of the talking points he made during his previous Oval Office address, calling the situation at the border "a humanitarian crisis."
He then put forward a proposal which he said was built using input from Border Patrol officials, the Department of Homeland Security, and proposals from rank and file Democrats.
In his proposal Trump called for the following spending measures for border security:
- $800 million for immediate humanitarian relief along the Southern border
- $805 million for drug detection technology to further secure ports of entry
- $782 million to hire 2,750 additional border agents, law enforcement professionals, and staff
- $563 million to hire 75 additional immigration judge teams to address backlog of 900,000 immigration court cases
Finally, the president stood steadfast behind his long-standing request for $5.7 billion to fund a "strategic deployment of physical barriers" along portions of the Southern border.
In what the president called a compromise, he included in his plan three years of legislative relief for DACA recipients and a three-year extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) affecting some 300,000 immigrants whose status faces expiration.
Trump then said he had the assurance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that a bill containing his proposed measures would receive a vote in the U.S. Senate this week, potentially ending the government shutdown if the bill was passed and a matching bill passed in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.
Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott were quick to respond to the president's proposal and to echo his call for Democrats to get behind it in order to end the shutdown.
“The way to end this shutdown is for both sides to make mutual concessions in order to reach an agreement," Rubio said in his statement. "The President has made a very reasonable offer to extend DACA and TPS protections in exchange for the border security measures he supports. I hope that instead of choosing the road of endless obstruction, Democrats will decide to work with him to reach an agreement and end the shutdown.”
“I applaud President Trump for proposing a compromise that re-opens government, protects our borders and takes care of those brought to this country illegally through no fault of their own," Scott said in his statement. "Children should never be punished for the actions of their parents, and I’ve always supported protections for our DREAMers.
Now it’s time for Democrats to decide if they want to negotiate in good faith and accept a compromise that secures our borders and protects DREAMers or if they want to continue playing politics. I hope they choose the former so we can get to work fixing problems for the American people.”
The government shutdown is now entering its 29th day, which is a record, and so far neither President Trump, nor Congressional Democrats have shown any signs of budging.
Information from the Associated press was used in this report.