Shortly after being sworn in for a second term in Washington D.C. on Thursday, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick is expected to support a bill that would aim to reopen the government nearly two weeks after it partially closed down.
Fitzpatrick’s office confirmed he was backing a plan to allow funding to reopen the federal government. The current legislation, which is being devised by Democratic House of Representatives leadership, would not provide funding to Republican President Donald Trump’s “great, great wall on our southern border,” but fund other border security measures, including upgrades to current fences and obstructions.
While Fitzpatrick did vote last month to support $5.7 billion for Trump’s proposed wall, he opposed shutting down the federal government over the funding standoff.
“Government shutdowns are not an effective way to govern. They’re costly, unnecessary, and demonstrate a failure to lead from both parties. While I strongly believe that we must secure our border and fix our broken immigration system, Congress had plenty of opportunities to act and failed each time,” Fitzpatrick said at the start of the shutdown.
At the White House on Wednesday, Trump met with congressional leadership to try to get his wall funded. As of 8 p.m., no deal had been reached and he wanted to talk again with congressional leaders on Friday, according to Fox News.
Fitzpatrick talked about the meeting between Trump and congressional leaders during an interview on CNN Wednesday afternoon. He urged that both sides should talk to one another to seek solutions and keep a civil tone.
Fitzpatrick has supported increasing border security to deal with illegal entry into the country. However, he has acknowledged constructing a wall from coast to coast may not be the best or most effective course of action along the border.
Trump appeared to support a funding bill that would have avoided a government shutdown but backed away leading up to Christmas.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security …. I will be the one to shut it down,” he said in early December, adding weeks later that is was actually the Democrats’ fault.
Trump boasted during his presidential campaign that a border wall with Mexico would be a “big, beautiful wall” that would be constructed inexpensively. He has since often talked about a concrete wall but waffled in recent weeks on the scope and design.