The public shouting match between President Trump and top Democratic leaders last week at the White House was a good indication of how far the government is from reaching a budget deal before Friday's shutdown deadline. It's all about border security. Both Trump and the Democrats insist they want it, but they have much different avenues of getting there. The president says he needs the $5 billion he asked for to build a border wall, but Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi say he doesn't have the votes and it's simply not going to happen. The most they will shell out is $1.6 billion for border fencing upgrades and other security measures. Both sides are now accusing the other of turning their backs on American workers.
"We have a disagreement as to what's the best border security, but don't hold these people hostage," Schumer urged.
The debate is likely to continue behind closed doors, considering Democrats protested about the cameras.
Before, during, and after his public debate with Pelosi and Schumer, Trump remained steadfast that border security is nonexistent without a physical structure.
Anytime you hear a Democrat saying that you can have good Boarder Security without a Wall, write them off as just another politician following the party line. Time for us to save billions of dollars a year and have, at the same time, far greater safety and control!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2018
Other Trump administration officials are just as adamant. Senior adviser Stephen Miller called the border wall a "fundamental issue."
"At stake is the question of whether or not the United States remains a sovereign country," Miller said this weekend on "Face the Nation." "The Democrat Party has a simple choice. They can either choose to fight for America's working class or to promote illegal immigration. You can't do both."
The Democrats are appalled that Trump threatened to shut down the government if he doesn't get his wall, but Miller repeated the threat. His boss will "absolutely" follow through with it, he warned. The "sovereignty" of America is at stake.