'Inconsistent with reality': Democrats respond to Trump's border security speech
WASHINGTON (SBG) — Democrats in congress are pushing back against the President's claims in his Oval Office speech that they "will not fund border security," and that they "refuse to acknowledge the crisis at the border."
Several Democrats reaffirmed they support border security, but disagree with Trump's fixation on a wall.
"If this is truly about border security from the president I think he himself should understand the magnitude of what he is putting on the table." said Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M. "An ineffective wall is not going to be part of the solution.
"If the President took time to read the briefings that are coming in he would understand the challenges at the ports of entry - and not just the ports of entry on the southern border." Luján continued. "The ports of entry on the interior at airports, the ports of entry on the northern border with Canada, the ports of entry on the water."
Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., says Democrats are hesitant to approve more border security funds until the administration makes it clear how the money will be used.
"We are definitely for strong security and modern technology needs to be applied," she said Wednesday. "Extending the fence may be part of it but we want to see a comprehensive plan... We can’t get a written document that says what this is about. Once we get that I think our leadership is prepared to sit down and talk."
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., agreed with that sentiment. "In the last 2 years we’ve approved 1.7 billion to secure the border," he said. "I think Democrats are prepared to invest more in border security, but we want to do it in a way that’s effective. We need to invest in infrastructure and personnel, and we need to secure the border using smart technology, drones, cargo inspections and satellites."
Possibly the strongest rebuke came from Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D- Ill., who called the President's speech "completely inconsistent with reality."
"This... was a political speech," Krishnamoorthi said. "It could’ve been something we heard at a rally, not something that we should hear from an oval office presentation."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer addressed the public shortly after Trump's speech Tuesday night, accusing the President of "holding the American people hostage," and demanding he "must stop manufacturing a crisis and must reopen the government."