House Appropriations Chair Admits Democrats Have 'No Consensus' on How to Secure Border

January 24, 2019

Rep. Nita Lowey (D., N.Y.) on Thursday admitted Democrats have "no consensus" on how to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

Lowey, the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, appeared on MSNBC to discuss the government shutdown and highlight Democrats' push to fund the rest of the government before negotiating border security funding.

"There's a new offer that will be coming from the Democrats [that includes] potentially up to $5.7 billion or more for border security, including funding for a smart wall. Can you tell us exactly what a smart wall is?" Host Katy Tur asked.

Lowey said the proposal that Tur mentioned was "interesting" but said there was "no consensus" currently. She added, "When the government is open, we will work together, hopefully in a bipartisan way. And I want you to know as an appropriator, I always work across the aisle. And then we'll come up with a plan that makes sense."

House Democrats announced on Wednesday that they were readying a funding counteroffer to President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly asked for $5.7 billion to fund the border wall. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told reporters they would "meet or exceed" $5.7 billion for border security, but they wouldn't provide money for a physical wall.

He added that the money could be used for "technology, manpower, fortifying ports of entry along with the judges and other things."

Lowey has called the wall "wasteful" multiple times on Twitter and has instead proposed, "smart, effective border security - improving ports of entry, additional drug detection equipment, for example."

"Without a Wall there cannot be safety and security at the Border or for the U.S.A. BUILD THE WALL AND CRIME WILL FALL!" Trump tweeted earlier Thursday.