WASHINGTON, D.C. (IRN) — Illinois’ senior U.S. senator says if negotiations over a border wall bring an end to government shutdowns in Washington D.C., then he’s all in.
A bipartisan Congressional committee has begun to meet to craft a border security agreement that both Democrats and Republicans can support.
Durbin said Wednesday as the panel started negotiations that he hopes the negotiations can find an historic compromise. He also said hopes that the talks end government shutdowns forever.
“I hope this will be the last conference committee called after a government shutdown,” Durbin said. “If we can add some provisions in our effort here to put an end to government shutdowns forever, count me in. I am willing to sit down on a bipartisan basis and achieve that.”
As for President Trump’s request for a border wall, Durbin says he’s not sure that would be the best way to spend nearly six billion-dollars.
“He’s increased the request when it comes to fences, and barriers, and what he might call a wall all the way up to $5.7 billion. From $1.6 to $5.7 billion,” Durbin said Wednesday. “It went from a 20% increase to a 300% increase. Is it time to ask a few questions whether that money would be well spent, whether we need it for the challenges that we face at the border, or whether there are other ways to keep our border safe. I think that is our job.”
President Trump last week agreed to a deal to keep the federal government open until Feb. 15, and give the committee that time to work on a border agreement.