- The Washington Times - Friday, December 21, 2018

Sen. Ted Cruz says it will be “extreme” Democrats who rejected a single “penny” for border security who are to blame if the federal government shuts down.

The Texas Republican told reporters on Friday that a “Schumer shutdown” will occur if the New York senator and his allies reject any compromise on border security funding.

“The president was unequivocal this morning,” Mr. Cruz told reporters. “If Chuck Schumer and the Democrats adopt an extreme line, that they’re not willing to give a penny for border security, then Schumer will go forward and shut the government down. That would be an unfortunate thing.”

House lawmakers approved a spending bill Thursday night with $5.7 billion in border security funding.

Senate Democrats, however, have vowed to deny all funding related to a wall separating the U.S. with Mexico.

“So, President Trump, you will not get your wall,” Mr. Schumer said while speaking before the Senate on Friday. “Abandon your shutdown strategy. You’re not getting the wall today, next week, or on January 3 when Democrats take control of the House.”

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“The Democratic caucus in the Senate is captive to the extreme left in their party,” Mr. Cruz countered with reporters. “You know, there’s an irony in this. The House bill has $5 billion in border security — [a] very reasonable funding level. Most of the Democrats have already voted for a lot more than $5 billion in border security funding. They’re not opposed to this, and they already voted for more money than this. Now, that didn’t pass into law, but what they’re doing now is playing politics.”

“What is happening in the Democratic Party is that they hate President Trump,” he continued. “OK. The American people understand they hate President Trump, but that’s not a reason for Chuck Schumer and the Democrats to force a shutdown. When it comes to securing the border and keeping our community safe, that should be a common sense issue that brings us together.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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