By ALEXANDER WILLIS
Senator Marsha Blackburn came out in support of President Trump’s Oval Office Address Tuesday night, in which the president called for bipartisan support of a $5.7 billion physical barrier at the southern border of the United States.
“President Trump affirmed his position on securing the Southern border and is to be commended for holding firm on his commitment to the country to address our broken immigration system,” Blackburn said. “The time has come for Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats to stop playing political games with the security and sovereignty of the United States.”
During his address, Trump called the barrier “absolutely critical to border security,” calling the current influx of noncitizens from Mexico a “crisis.” Trump went on to cite recent examples of violence perpetrated by noncitizens, such as the shooting of a San Francisco police officer in late December, the murder of an Air Force veteran on a fishing boat in September, and the stabbing of a 16 year-old girl in Maryland in February, which investigators linked to the criminal gang MS-13.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi responded to the president’s address, with Pelosi calling Trump’s rhetoric “full of misinformation, and even malice.”
Pelosi went on to call the proposed barrier “expensive, and ineffective,” and said the president has “chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety and wellbeing of the American people, and withhold the paychecks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation, many of them veterans.”
Schumer shared Pelosi’s sentiments, adding that Democrats are also in favor of stronger border security, but that they “sharply disagree with the president about the most effective way to do it.” Schumer continued, saying that discussions over border security measures could continue after ending the government shutdown.
“The Senate should not take up any measure unless President Trump has indicated that he will sign it into law,” Blackburn said. “Until our border is secure, every state will remain a border state and every town will remain a border town.”
During the address, Trump said that he had invited congressional leadership to the White House Wednesday, with hopes at reaching an agreement on border security.