Republicans Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais, and Marsha Blackburn have all reportedly come out swinging in support of President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.
U.S. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, however, seems to have taken a more passive approach.
Alexander’s junior colleague, U.S. Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn reportedly told The Cleveland Banner this week that, despite the shutdown, a large portion of the federal government, about 75 percent, still functions.
Blackburn, according to The Banner, blamed the shutdown on Democrats, who refuse to negotiate.
“It is sad they are putting partisan politics ahead of the American people,” the paper quoted Blackburn as saying.
“It is unconscionable they would refuse to secure the border and protect our nation. Drugs, human sex and labor traffickers and gang members cross into this country — illegally every day. It is imperative that we secure the border and end illegal entry.”
The United States, Blackburn went on to tell the paper, spends billions of dollars each year in foreign aid, money she said this country could use to secure the border — for one-tenth of that amount.
Fleischmann, meanwhile, told The Banner he is withholding his pay during the shutdown, but he, like Blackburn, also blames Democrats for the shutdown.
DesJarlais told the paper the United States spends “hundreds of billions of dollars annually to apprehend and detain illegal aliens, provide courts and lawyers, as well as housing, health care and education benefits for aliens and their families.”
“Illegal labor depresses American workers’ wages,” DesJarlais said.
“The costs of the drug epidemic and loss of life are incalculable. By building a wall, our country would save money and lives.”
Bad laws and loopholes, the paper quoted DesJarlais as saying, encourage illegal immigration and make a border wall necessary.
Alexander told The Banner things he previously said elsewhere, including the need for compromise.
As The Tennessee Star reported last week, Alexander took to Twitter to say “a government shutdown is always the wrong thing to do.”
Alexander said the best way to resolve the stalemate between the Democrats in Congress and Trump is for the feds to provide money for border security at ports of entry.
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