Now into the third week of the government shutdown, and with no end in sight, a Democratic member of Congress from New Hampshire has described the president’s leadership style during the impasse on the issue as “chaos.”
In addition to criticizing President Donald Trump’s refusal to bend on the issue of a border wall, Rep. Chris Pappas also blasted the Senate for its refusal to consider a bill that the House of Representatives already passed that would re-open the government.
“It’s #Day19 of the govt shutdown,” Pappas wrote in his tweet on Wednesday morning. Trump “presented no way forward last night, the Senate is refusing to even vote on the bills we passed to re-open the govt, & federal workers are feeling the squeeze after nearly 3 weeks with no paycheck.”
“This is not governing, it’s chaos,” Pappas concluded.
In a separate tweet issued immediately after Trump’s speech to the American people last night on the need for a wall, Pappas explained in an official statement that security at our nation’s borders was needed, just not in the way the president was demanding.
“I believe we must invest in border security, including technology and manpower, and I believe a bipartisan majority in Congress agrees,” Pappas wrote. “But a border wall is a waste of taxpayer dollars and is an arcane solution to a 21st century problem.”
Pres. Trump concludes address on border security, makes case for wall: "This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice ... when I took the oath of office I swore to protect our country and that is what I will always do, so help me God." https://t.co/NNQ9MoOG59 pic.twitter.com/hbrDpecaOs— ABC News (@ABC) January 9, 2019
The issue of the border wall is the central issue in the government shutdown debate. In late December, after the Republican-run Senate agreed to keep the government functioning through at least February without funding for a border wall, the president issued an ultimatum to Congress stating he would not sign any bill without appropriations for the project, per reporting from CBS News.
Following that, the House, then also led by Republicans, passed a bill with funding for the wall, which the Senate could not pass. After the new Congress convened in January, the now Democratic-run House passed a bill without funding for the wall, which the Senate has yet to vote on, reported CNBC earlier this month.
Trump addressed the American people live from the Oval Office on Tuesday night, explaining his desire for a border wall as necessary to secure the nation and prevent drugs from entering the country.
“Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl,” Trump said in his speech.
However, as fact-checking from the Guardian pointed out, it’s unclear how a border wall could stop the flow of drugs from Mexico. Most drugs are smuggled into the U.S. through secure border checkpoints where walls are already established, not through areas of the border where walls do not exist.