Neal Statement on President Trump's Speech to the Nation Regarding Border Wall Funding


Date: Jan. 8, 2019
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Richard E. Neal released the following statement tonight on President Donald J. Trump's speech to the nation this evening on border wall funding and the federal government shutdown.

"On Day 18 of the partial shutdown of the federal government, President Donald Trump delivered a prime time address from the Oval Office tonight suggesting there is a security crisis on our southwest border. He continues to use this misleading narrative to punish federal workers and force taxpayers to pay for a $5.7 billion wall with Mexico that the vast majority of Americans don't want. What President Trump failed to mention this evening is that during this 'national crisis' his administration has only spent a fraction of the $1.6 billion allocated for the construction of new physical barriers on the border. And most security experts agree that building a wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for will not solve our immigration problems. In December, the U.S. Congress was ready to approve a bipartisan agreement to fund the government through February, only to have the measure blocked by the President at the last minute. Because of his continued intransigence on the issue of border wall funding, a quarter of the federal government remains closed and more than 800,000 employees will not receive a paycheck at the end of this week. If no agreement is reached by next Tuesday, this unnecessary government shutdown will become the longest in U.S. history. The American people favor secure borders and comprehensive immigration reform. But they do not believe the federal government and its workforce should be held hostage in the process. I urge President Trump to meet with the Congressional leadership immediately to reach a compromise on the budget impasse and reopen the federal government as soon as possible," said Congressman Richard E. Neal, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means.