- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2019

Rep. Cheri Bustos, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, suggested Friday that Democrats should be willing to concede “partial” border wall funding in exchange for helping “Dreamers” brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

“There’s got to be some give and take,” the Illinois Democrat told host John Berman on CNN’s “New Day.”

“If it were up to me, I would go into a room, I’d lock the door and say, ‘We’re not gonna leave until we open up the government again.’ It is not that hard,” she said.

Mrs. Bustos made the comments 14 days into a partial government shutdown spurred by President Trump’s demand for $5 billion in border wall funding. Democrats, who reclaimed control of the House on Thursday, passed legislation Thursday night to reopen nine federal departments, without funding for the wall, which the president said he will oppose. A meeting at the White House with bipartisan congressional leaders on Friday is expected to reach the same impasse.

Mrs. Bustos, who is not part of the negotiations, said Friday that she would be willing to accept a “partial wall” consisting of fencing and stronger technological barriers.

“The wall that President Trump has talked about … is nothing more than a symbol when you look at it in this perspective,” she said. “If we have a partial wall, if we have fencing, if we have technology used to keep our borders safe, all of that is fine, but it has just become this symbol that the president is not going to have any give or take when it comes to this $5 billion.

“We can have a starting point, that we can go in there and say, ‘This is ideally what we would like to see happen,’” she continued. “But in the end, we might have to give or take a little bit. It’s just the way the world works. It’s the way our families work. I’m a mother of three sons, and it’s the way that I work with my husband and with my children. It’s just the way the world works. And why should we in Congress, in this building, in the U.S. Capitol, be any different than the way anything else works in this world?”

Mrs. Bustos said she strongly supported the effort for “comprehensive immigration reform” and signaled that she would be willing to accept partial wall funding in exchange for giving Dreamers a path to citizenship.

In a tweet Friday, Mrs. Bustos sought to clarify her comments by saying she supported the partial wall already put in place along certain parts of the border but not partial funding for Mr. Trump’s wall. She supports legislation passed by the Democrats Thursday night that provides $1.3 billion for border fencing and $300 million more for other border security technology, but it is expected to go nowhere.

“This is false,” Mrs. Bustos wrote in response to a report by The Hill saying she supported “partial wall” funding. “We already have fencing & barriers along parts of the border. I support common sense and effective means to secure the border. We must negotiate to end the #TrumpShutdown but not by giving the President a costly & ineffective taxpayer-funded wall for political cover.”

The congresswoman did not clarify her earlier “give and take” comments, rather what Democrats should be willing to “give” Mr. Trump in order to end the shutdown.

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