Democrats Breaking With Leadership To Support Border Wall Funding

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Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — A new number of Senate Democrats appear to be supporting the idea of physical barriers on the southern border.

Following the Senate votes that blocked President Donald Trump’s plan to fund the border and Senate Democrats’ plan to re-open the government, West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin told The Daily Caller Thursday that Senate Democrats want some sort of structure on the border, and House Democrats are the holdouts on the issue. (RELATED: Here Are All Of The Shutdown Deals Democrats Have Rejected)

“On the Senate side, we understand. I don’t think any Senators … said they don’t want any secured structure fence or wall or whatever you want to call it,” he said.

Manchin is not alone.  Other Democrats have expressed support for a border wall in the past month.

“I know we’re going to have to add additional border security … We’ve got about 700 miles of existing fencing. Where folks say we need additional barrier protections, I’m all for it,” Sen. Mark Warner told Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto on Wednesday.

Maine Democratic Sen. Angus King appeared on CNN’s “New Day” on January 7 and said, “Everybody is for border security. The question is, let’s do it in a rational, economic, sensible way. There are places where a wall makes sense.”

Boys play around, climbing the border division between Mexico and the US in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on January 26, 2017. US President Donald Trump on Thursday told Mexico's president to cancel an upcoming visit to Washington if he is unwilling to foot the bill for a border wall. Escalating a cross border war of words, Trump took to Twitter to publicly upbraid Enrique Pena Nieto. "If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting." / AFP / HERIKA MARTINEZ (Photo credit should read HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – Boys play around, climbing the border division between Mexico and the US in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on January 26, 2017. HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called walls “immoral,” but Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons disagreed — telling Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” on January 13, “I personally don’t think that a border wall is in and of itself immoral.”

Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy tweeted several remarks from his colleagues within the Democratic caucus that showed they would be open to a border wall as well.

Other House Democrats have also spoken out in support for border wall funding including Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, California Rep. John Garamendi, California Rep. Katie Hill, Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotnick, New York Rep. Anthony Brindisi, Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, Washington Rep. Adam Smith, and Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell.

Led by Virginia freshman Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria, thirty members within the caucus urged Speaker Pelosi in a letter to give Trump a vote on border security funding if he first agrees to end the shutdown, Politico reported.

“He’s not talking about a wall from sea to shining sea. That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about physical barriers as recommended by experts,” Luria said.

Trump proposed Thursday night for a “down payment” on a border wall as a condition to end the government shutdown temporarily, telling reporters it would be “some sort of pro-rated down payment on the wall.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promptly rejected the proposal telling reporters as she walked off the floor it was not “reasonable.”

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