Connecticut’s U.S. Senators are in agreement that President Donald Trump’s demand for a wall along the southern border is what will keep the government closed indefinitely.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, during a press conference Wednesday, said the framework of an agreement to reopen the government with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, was agreed to in December, but the president scuttled those talks.
He said, “There’s a clear path forward. Border security has to be a priority but not a concrete physical wall from sea to shining sea which my Republican colleagues have abandoned.”
The president had been demanding $5 billion in the next budget agreement to pay for the wall, but he’s since lowered that demand to $2.5 billion as of Wednesday.
Blumenthal and Sen. Chris Murphy both agree that there needs to be beefed up security at the southern border, but not with a wall.
“I’m just not going to ask taxpayers in Connecticut to pay for a medieval defense system that is a total waste of money. We should be building 21st century security on the border not fifth century,” Murphy told NBC Connecticut in a statement. “That’s where most Republicans and Democrats are. We’ve shown the ability as Republicans and Democrats to find more border money. We’re just not going to ask our taxpayers to pay for something that Donald Trump saw a cartoon of and now wants to build on the Mexican border.”
There are 1,483 federal workers in Connecticut directly impacted by the shutdown.