Southeast Missouri Congressman Jason Smith thinks Democrats must compromise with President Trump to avoid a government shutdown.
“If the Democrats don’t come to the table and help to faithfully show some kind of reasonable compromise, the president will make sure that the government is not open until they come up with a reasonable compromise,” said Smith.
The Republican made the comment as the White House appeared yesterday to back-off the President’s demand for $5 billion to build a border wall. Democrats have proposed to keep funding at current levels of $1.3 billion for border fencing and security measures, but have rejected additional wall.
During Tuesday’s briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that Trump doesn’t want to shut down the government. She said the president would consider other options and the administration was looking at ways to find the money elsewhere.
Congressman Smith thinks Democrats have a responsibility to compromise after the White House has offered to explore alternatives to a shutdown.
“Government is, you are trying to reach an agreement,” Smith said. “It’s not an all or nothing approach. You have to find some kind of common ground.”
Last week, Trump took a much harder line as he told Democratic leaders in a televised meeting he was willing to shut down the government over the border issue, saying he would be “proud” to do so.
The Democratic leaders, likely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have made it clear they are not interested in funding Trump’s border wall.
If a funding agreement is not reached, more than 800,000 government workers could be temporarily laid off or forced to work without pay beginning at midnight Friday, which would disrupt government operations days before Christmas.
Republican leaders have hinted they are willing to keep funding at current levels into the new year.
Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said late yesterday that he was crafting a bill that would keep short-term funding in place into February.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday said he was confident there would not be a government shutdown, stating that a stopgap measure could be approved.
(Congressman Smith’s comment were provided by KFVS-TV)