Jeff Merkley says Democrats refuse any funding for Donald Trump’s border wall

December 23, 2018 GMT

Sen. Jeff Merkley, Oregon Democrat, put a number Sunday on the amount Democrats are willing to spend on a border wall: Zero.

Asked if the Democrats “are not going to agree to any funding to build a new border wall,” Mr. Merkley said, “That’s correct. None.”

He and other Democrats have differentiated between funding other border-security methods such as improved technology as opposed to a barrier, while President Trump has said he will settle for nothing less than a border wall.

“Border security all the way, and in fact again, the president has a lot of money we gave him last year for border security, and he’s not using it,” Mr. Merkley said on ABC’s “This Week.”

NEW: Sen. Jeff Merkley says Democrats will not agree to any border wall funding.@jonkarl: “Let me be clear. Democrats are not going to agree to any funding to build new border wall? None?“Merkley: “That’s correct. None.” #ThisWeek This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 23, 2018


He said $5 billion for a wall on the southern border is “a lot of money” that could be better spent on Head Start and meals for seniors.

“To spend it on a fourth-century strategy rather than on stuff that actually improves border security is just not something we’re going to do,” Mr. Merkley said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that there are “no votes in the Senate for an expensive taxpayer-funded border wall,” where 60 votes are needed for approval.

The House passed last week a stopgap budget bill with $5 billion to fund a border wall, but the stalemate has prompted a partial government shutdown that kicked in Saturday.

Mr. Trump insisted again Sunday that he will settle for nothing less than a wall, tweeting that “only a good old fashioned Wall” will work.

The only way to stop drugs, gangs, human trafficking, criminal elements and much else from coming into our Country is with a Wall or Barrier. Drones and all of the rest are wonderful and lots of fun, but it is only a good old fashioned Wall that works! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2018