President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Congress to make progress on building the border wall, emphasizing his frustration with the lack of legislative progress on immigration.
During his visit on Capitol Hill, Trump called on Congress to speed up the process of border security, crack down on so-called sanctuary cities and end the practice of “catch and release” immigration laws.
“We are calling on Congress to secure our borders, support our border agents, stop sanctuary cities and shut down policies that release violent criminals back into our communities,” Trump said at an event outside the Capitol, honoring fallen law enforcement officers. “We don’t want it any longer. We’ve had it. Enough is enough.”
According to GOP lawmakers who attended the meeting, Trump repeated his calls for a border wall directly to Senate Republicans during a private lunch at the Capitol. “He wants the wall. He made that abundantly clear,” Republican Senator John Kennedy told reporters. “He said, ‘I want the wall.’ I don’t think that’s news.”
“He said we have to secure the border. And the American people support us on that,” added Senator Ron Johnson.
CNN reported that although Trump did not threaten to impose another government shutdown over the issue during Tuesday’s closed-door lunch, earlier this month in a tweet he said that any funding measure, including a short-term continuing resolution that would be due at the end of September, needs to include money for the border wall.
However, Trump’s request is set to create chaos for congressional leaders, as they are attempting to solve spending agreements that can pass both chambers and avoid another government shutdown just weeks before the midterm elections.
“That’s something we want to avoid, but I think both parties should do their utmost to avoid any government shutdown,” Republican Senator and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby told reporters on Tuesday. “I think the president would understand that.”