The congressman representing Paulding County said today, Feb. 1, he hopes Democrats offer legislation that includes border wall funding as part of negotiations on funding the government.
District 14 U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, also hinted in a statement he released today that the country could face the second government shutdown in two months Feb. 15 if Democrats do not "negotiate in good faith."
Graves, who is the only Georgia member of the bipartisan Conference Committee to secure the border, was speaking on the Democrats' opening offer in the negotiations on President Donald Trump’s inclusion of $5.7 billion for construction of a wall for security along the nation's southern border.
A 17-member bipartisan conference committee has been formed to decide on a border security plan but it must agree on one by Feb. 15, the New York Times reported.
Graves said, “One week ago today, we reached a deal to open the government and begin border security negotiations. I was optimistic about our ability to strike a deal and restore confidence in the legislative process.
“In one week’s time, the committee has met once for routine opening remarks. In that meeting, all parties expressed an intent to engage with open minds and in good faith.
"However, it came to light afterward that Democrats had already written a bill with zero funding for the wall. A bill summary was finally released yesterday, but the 70-plus pages of legislative text are still being kept secret from the public," he said.
“We are two weeks away from the next government shutdown. The House adjourned until Tuesday. There are no meetings scheduled.
"Yesterday, Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi drew a hard line on wall funding, effectively ending negotiations. Democrats have fallen in line and reduced their wall funding position from $1.6 billion to zero. Is that negotiating in good faith?
“The country was led to believe this would be a real negotiation. It’s not too late to turn this around and get back on track.
"I urge Democrats to put forward a legitimate offer that includes wall funding. President Trump and Republicans put forward offers that attempted to meet in the middle. It’s time for Democrats to negotiate in good faith.”
A one-page outline of the House Democrats' proposal, which doesn’t provide any dollar figures, says it will contain funds “for a smart, effective border security posture, one that does not rely on costly physical barriers,” The Hill reported on its website.
Pelosi said this week no funding for the wall would be included in any legislation the House approves.