Majority Whip James Clyburn says Americans are ‘hostages’ over president’s demands for border wall

Trump takes wall fight to the border

WASHINGTON, DC (WIS) - U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) issued a strong statement against President Donald Trump’s border wall in a statement over the weekend.

In a statement issued on Jan. 6, Clyburn chastised Senate Republican leaders from blocking votes that would lift the current partial government shutdown, now in its third week.

“The American people ought not to be the president’s hostages over his ill-advised and ill-defined border wall,” Clyburn’s statement said.

President Trump, in his first address from the Oval Office on Tuesday, called the wall necessary to prevent a “humanitarian crisis.”

“Every day, Customs and Border Protection agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country,” the president said Tuesday. "We are out of space to hold them, and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country. America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation, but all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration.

New York Senator Chuch Schumer said the president “used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil of his administration.”

During a meeting with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Schumer on Thursday, the president tweeted that following a disagreement on the wall, he said: “I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

You can read Clyburn’s full statements here:

It is unconscionable that Senate Leader McConnell would block votes on these bills to reopen the government that received overwhelming bipartisan Senate support just a few months ago. Not only are 800,000 federal employees’ livelihood in the balance, millions of Americans are suffering the consequences of this Trump Shutdown. Loans for small businesses and farmers are already impacted, food stamps and income tax refunds will be next unless the Senate, a co-equal branch of government elected by the people to serve the people, steps up and does its job. The American people ought not be the president’s hostages over his ill-advised and ill-defined border wall.  He is demonstrating with every day that passes that he is ill-equipped to negotiate his way out of this self-imposed crisis, and the American people are paying the price over his inability to govern. It is time for the Senate to do its part to reopen the government and tell this president that enough is enough.
Majority Whip James Clyburn in Jan. 6 statement

On Thursday, Clyburn and senior members of the Whip team will hold a press availability after the Whip meeting to answer reporter questions. This will be the first Whip meeting of the 116th Congress.

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