Sen. Mark Warner Is Willing to Give Trump Border Security Funds, But for a Price

Photo Credit: J Scott Applewhite/AP/Shutterstock
January 24, 2019
4mo ago

By Justin Chermol

As the partial government shutdown enters its sixth week, it's up to moderates on both sides of the aisle to compromise on a solution to reopen the government, even if it means giving President Trump a partial victory on border funds, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) told Cheddar.

"Let me be clear, I'm willing to support more border security," the Virginia Democrat told Cheddar's J.D. Durkin on Wednesday. "But we ought to do it without these lives being held in hostage. Let's get the government open, even if it's for a few weeks, to let us negotiate."

On Wednesday, the Senate held its first votes in more than a month to reopen the government. Two bills were proposed: a GOP-backed plan that would provide the Trump administration over $5 billion in border wall funding, and a Democrat-backed temporary spending bill that would reopen the government for only a short time. Both bills were voted down.

Still, Warner thinks the votes themselves represent a first step to a compromise.

After the votes, Warner said it will be the responsibility of moderate senators to say "enough of this stuff already" and exchange more border security funding for at least a temporary reopening of the government.

"Let's do what is smart to protect our border," Warner said, "And if Donald Trump wants to declare victory out of that, have it at, as long as we get these folks back to work." He added, however, that enhanced border security should include technology like drones and sensors coupled with additional border walls or fencing.

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are set to miss their second paycheck on Friday. On Tuesday, Warner proposed his Stop Stupidity (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act to end future government shutdowns. In a press release, Warner said the bill would, "protect federal government workers from being used as pawns in policy negotiations," by keeping the government running even if funding lapses during the congressional appropriations process.

"What my absolute top priority is not continuing to inflict harm, and long-term harm, on these families."

For full interview click here.