We're on day 10 of the government shutdown and President Trump seems no closer to reaching a budget deal with Democrats, who continue to bicker over border security. Trump and his conservative base want a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, but Democrats aren't budging.
Then, on Monday, a New York Times report quoted outgoing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly suggesting that plans for a physical barrier had been "abandoned." Trump tried to set the record straight on Twitter.
An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media. Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides). Makes sense to me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2018
After a few tweets about his foreign policy decision on Syria, Trump returned to emphasizing border security. As he's noted, he skipped his Christmas vacation to Mar-a-Lago to remain at the White House and try and hash out a deal, but Democrats have been MIA.
I campaigned on Border Security, which you cannot have without a strong and powerful Wall. Our Southern Border has long been an “Open Wound,” where drugs, criminals (including human traffickers) and illegals would pour into our Country. Dems should get back here an fix now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2018
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), however, warned that Republicans are probably going to have to give some ground on immigration if they are going to get their wall.
"The one thing I know for sure is nothing will get out of the Senate without wall/border funding and Democrats are not going to give us money for a wall/border security without getting something themselves," Graham said. "So here's what I think might work: $5 billion for wall/border security – Democrats have voted for more than that in the past – married up with the BRIDGE Act, which Sen. Durbin and I wrote, a three year, one-time renewable work permit for the DACA population, about 700,000."
As Beth noted, that kind of compromise won't sit well with Trump's conservative base.