President Donald Trump made his address on funding a border wall Saturday, and it did not take long for one prominent Democrat from South Carolina to respond.
There will be no negotiation and no deals on the issues of the border wall and immigration as long as the president does not end the federal government shutdown, according to a statement from U.S. Rep. James Clyburn.
The House Majority Whip responded to Trump’s address, in a statement that said “until the President releases his hostages — federal workers and the American people — there will be no negotiation.
“End the shutdown now, and we can consider how a compromise giving lasting protections for Dreamers and TPS recipients may lead to a deal on border security.”
Clyburn was open to the idea of discussing the issues with the president when he was interviewed on “Fox News Sunday,” but when pressed by host Chris Wallace the Democrat from Columbia did not budge on that happening during the shutdown, video posted on YouTube shows. Clyburn confirmed during the interview that there would be no negotiations until the president reopens the government.
“What we’re trying to do here is get the government open,” Clyburn said in the Fox News interview, video shows. “What we’ve said to the president, ‘let’s open up the government, we could do that ... tomorrow morning.’ He has bills that he could sign and open the government up right away. Lets not hold the American people, especially the federal workers, hostage to these negotiations.”
In the Fox News interview, Clyburn added Democrats are “all for negotiating,” but called Trump’s compromise “a nonstarter.”
On Saturday, the president offered to “extend temporary protections for young people brought to the U.S. illegally and for those who fled disaster zones,” in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, the Associated Press reported.
“I think it’s a non-starter for him to ask for a permanent wall and for us to have a temporary fix,” Clyburn said Sunday, adding he wants a permanent solution on DACA and TPS, in the Fox News interview.
Clyburn went on to add that he is not against the idea of a wall to protect the southern border of the U.S. He told Wallace he is in favor of a “smart wall,” video shows.
“A smart wall will be using drones, using sensors, using X-ray equipment to be an effective wall,” Clyburn said in the Fox News interview. “Not just something that would be a monument to one’s existence, but to be a deterrent at the border and to be an effective barrier for people who are trying to get in illegally.”
In his statement, Clyburn also called for “improved infrastructure and manpower at ports of entry,” to help border security.