WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY) said Thursday he’s hoping for an end to the “political theater” accompanying the government shutdown, but offered no hope that it would end soon.
Reed told reporters in a conference call that “it’s amazing how folks won’t even talk to each other.”
The shutdown was in its 34th day on Thursday and is due in large part to President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall. Democrats in the House have said they wont negotiate border security funding until after the government is reopen and accuse the president of using the shutdown as leverage in his effort to get the funding.
Reed also said Thursday everyone is hung up on the word “wall” and that it’s border security the president is after, not a 2,200-mile sea-to-sea wall, he added.
The statement from Reed runs contrary to numerous times during his presidential campaign and while office when Trump specifically indicated he wanted build a “great wall” along the U.S.-Mexican border and he would have Mexico pay for it. By mid 2017, the Homeland Security Department acknowledged the wall wouldn’t be from “sea to shining sea.”
Last week Reed and a bipartisan group of members from the Problem Solvers Caucus met with President Trump and his aides for more than an hour discussing a possible way to break the gridlock but the corning republican refused to disclose what the president said about the shutdown during that meeting.