No indication Democrats will budge on border wall fight

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

The United States government has been shut down for nearly two weeks as President Donald Trump and Democratic Congress members fight over funding to build a wall on the U.S. and Mexico border.

During his first cabinet meeting of the new year, the president said that the southern border is like a "sieve.” He said that the $5 billion he wants is small in comparison to the funding Democrats have given in the past.

“When you see that the Democrats want to give away $12 billion extra and we're giving away $54 billion in foreign aid, so we give money to countries but we don't give money to our own country which is another thing that I've been complaining about. And we're cutting that back. It's very unfair,” Trump said.

News 12 New Jersey spoke with New Jersey’s two Democratic U.S. senators who said that they will not approve any funding for the border wall. They said that President Trump should own the shutdown politically for rejecting a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Senate that would have prevented the shutdown.

“There was a bipartisan agreement, and I want to emphasize that - that passed unanimously in the Senate. That Vice President Pence said the president would sign. Now it’s only because Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and a whole bunch of others got out there and started saying, ‘Oh he’s caving in and this or that’ that he changed his mind,” Sen. Bob Menendez said.

RELATED: Trash takes toll on national parks amid shutdown
RELATED: 
Trump, Democrats trade blame in 2nd weekend of shutdown

“There was a bipartisan agreement, and I want to emphasize that - that passed unanimously in the Senate. That Vice President Pence said the president would sign. Now it’s only because Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and a whole bunch of others got out there and started saying, ‘Oh he’s caving in and this or that’ that he changed his mind,” Sen. Bob Menendez said.

Many Democrats say that with their party taking control of the House of Representatives Thursday, they felt as if they had the upper hand and plan on passing several funding measures that would fund government agencies without the additional funding for the president’s wall.

They said that this would force the Republican-held Senate to defy President Trump or keep the shutdown going.

“I’m not gonna in any way budge on this believe…We do not need a wall. We should not be building a wall, it’s a waste of money. There are better things to do to keep us secure,” said Sen. Cory Booker

Sen. Menendez would not comment when asked why Democrats would not agree to the wall funding and use it as a bargaining chip for other policy achievements such as legalization for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients or the Gateway Tunnel railroad project.

President Trump was expected to meet with top congressional leaders Wednesday afternoon to try to come to an agreement to end the shutdown stalemate.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."