U.S. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is none too pleased about the federal government shutdown, and he took to Twitter Thursday to tell his constituents all about it.
“I think it’s very important for the people of Tennessee to know that I believe that a government shutdown is always the wrong thing to do,” Alexander said, adding he opposed shutdowns under former Democratic President Barack Obama, just as much as he does under Republican President Donald Trump.
“A government shutdown should be as off-limits to budget negotiations as chemical weapons are to warfare. I have suggested three ways to solve the problem. All of them involving provisions that Democrats and Republicans have voted for before.”
As The Tennessee Star reported this week, Alexander said the best way to resolve the stalemate is for the feds to provide money for border security at ports of entry and to define the legal status for those already here.
In his Twitter video, Alexander said a bipartisan appropriations committee recently approved $5.7 billion for border security, including $1.6 billion for the wall.
“A year ago, 54 of us in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, voted for $25 billion in appropriated dollars for extensive border security, including the wall,” Alexander said.
“Or we can do what we tried to do in 2013, which is to tackle the entire legal immigration system, which is what we need to do to solve all of the problems. If we had done in 2013 what the senate passed, and I voted for, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion today.”
That bill, if passed into law, would have required the Secretary of Homeland Security to report on border security strategy. That would have involved the National Guard securing the border . The bill also would have considered increasing the number of border patrol agents. The bill also included provisions to allow illegal immigrants to adjust their immigration status.
According to FOX News, that bill died in the House.
“The 2013 bipartisan bill would have provided $46 billion for border security improvements,” according to FOX News.
“That’s nearly double the $25 billion President Trump is now pressing for to build the wall on our border with Mexico.”