President Donald Trump linked illegal immigration along the southern border with drugs and violent crime as he urged Democratic lawmakers to fund his proposed border wall.
In his first national address from the Oval Office, the president gave no indication he was softening his stance that the partial government shutdown would continue without money for the wall.
Trump argued Tuesday night that the wall was needed to resolve what he called a security and humanitarian “crisis.”
Republican Congressman Bill Johnson, 6th District, released the following statement following the president’s address:
I stand with President Trump on this issue of major national importance. The President is asking for 234 miles of a new steel barrier to stop crime, drugs, and violence from coming across the border and into the United States. It’s unfortunate that we’ve reached this point with a partial government shutdown, but playing politics with our nation’s security and the safety of the American people is very irresponsible. Therefore, I urge House and Senate Democrats to stop the political games, and get serious about securing America’s southern border. If not now, when when? – Congressman Bill Johnson
Criticism on the left was swift after the address. Congressman Tim Ryan, (D) 13th District, said the president was “stoking fear in the American people” to get a border wall.
It was clear tonight that President Trump is only concerned with stoking fear in the American people. Devoid of any facts, the President continues to tout the lie that a wall is the only way to secure our border—it’s not. In an era of advanced surveillance technologies and capabilities, a wall is laughably outdated. It’s like saying we want Model T cars, glider planes, or rotary phones back. President Trump’s focus should be on reopening the government as hundreds of thousands of federal workers are facing the grim reality that they won’t be receiving a paycheck this week.” –Congressman Tim Ryan.
Mr. Trump addressed the nation as the shutdown stretched through its third week, with hundreds of thousands of federal workers going without pay and some congressional Republicans growing increasingly jittery about the impasse.
Trump plans to visit Senate Republicans at the Capitol on Wednesday before meeting with Democratic leaders at the White House.