The United States has reached the 27th day in the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. The sole purpose of the shutdown is to give more time to congressional Democrats and Republicans to come to a financial agreement so President Donald Trump can begin to build additional barriers at the border.
The U.S. border already has some barriers in place, but the government’s current battle is deciding on funding for extended barriers. These new barriers would be built in areas that are currently unfenced in the attempt to prevent further illegal immigration.
Democrats and Republicans are holding firm with seemingly little attempts to negotiate on the issue. (RELATED: Eight House Dems Break With Leadership On Wall Funding)
This biggest sticking point is not over whether or not Democrats agree with border security but rather that they are rejecting Trump’s demands for an additional $5.7 billion to “build that wall,” as he has so famously chanted since his 2016 campaign trail.
The figures for fundings these proposed wall extensions have shifted drastically over the last two years, with some estimates ranging from the president’s proposed $5.7 billion to $25 billion.
Homeland Subcommittee on Appropriations ranking member Sen. Jon Tester highlighted these changing demands in a speech on the Senate floor, urging Republicans to end the Shutdown.
“The president came in with his budget request last year … and asked for $1.6 billion dollars for a wall,” the Montana Democratic senator stated. He then explained that the subcommittee approved the $1.6 billion dollars for the wall, but the Republican-controlled Senate did not pass the bill.
“But, sometime later, the president came in and said, ‘Now I want $5 billion for the wall.’ And now it’s $5.7 billion for a wall.”
He further explained the subcommittee responded by asking for a report on how the $5.7 billion was going to be spent. But the report they received was based on the $1.6 billion figure and lacked any analysis on technology or manpower — which may be more cost-effective means to secure the border.
Now, government employees have returned to work while not receiving a paycheck. Tester points out how this affects “average Americans who could lose their homes, their autos, not be able to send their kids to school, not be able to afford healthcare – the list goes on and on.”
“I ask, ‘Is this how you make America great again?'” he continued.
While Congress continues the endless debate on how to re-open the government. The Daily Caller investigated what exactly this $5.7 billion would actually buy the U.S. in terms of border security.
Tune in to the Daily Caller’s newest video series, The Daily Caller Explains to find out just what the $5.7 billion figure means for U.S. border security.