Two Democratic aides revealed Sunday that the shutdown talks were delayed by 45 minutes because Republicans didn’t have documents that outlined what the $5.7 billion would be used for.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Trump told reporters when leaving the White House many federal workers “who won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree with what I’m doing.” Trump’s nonchalance about federal workers paying rent was even more evident when the Republicans came to the negotiating table.
“Two Democratic aides said Sunday that an afternoon meeting was delayed by 45 minutes because Republicans weren’t ready with documents to explain why that $5.7 billion amount was needed for the wall,” the Journal reported. The initial number last month was $5 billion. It slowly climbed to $5.6 billion last week, and as of Sunday, the number is $5.7 billion.
“The administration eventually provided a list of proposals including $5.7 billion for ‘234 miles of new physical barrier’ along the border and requested money for more law enforcement, more immigration judges and more beds in border-detention facilities,” the Journal said after reviewing the documents.
Letters from the Budget Office focused on the “steel barrier” rather than the concrete wall Trump demanded.
Congress has already passed a funding bill for Homeland Security that would allocate money to repair the existing fences along the border and “bollard barriers, levees, and technology improvements.” Senate Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring up the bill in the Senate because Trump refused to sign it.
Democrats largely support a barrier between the borders but prefer repairing existing structures instead of forcing tax-payers to fund new ones.