SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego lawmakers on both sides of the aisle blamed each other for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, but also said they would work together on a bipartisan border security package.
President Trump on Friday announced a deal to end the partial government shutdown after another missed paycheck for 800,000 federal workers and flight delays. The deal didn't include any money for the president's border wall, his signature campaign promise.
Trump gave lawmakers until Feb. 15 to come up with a satisfactory deal on border security. If not, he said the government could shut down again, or he'd declare a national emergency to build a wall.
Democratic Congressman Scott Peters, who represents coastal and central San Diego, said he's glad the shutdown is over.
"It's about time," Peters said. "There's just no reason to shut the government down because you don't get what you want as part of the legislative process."
Peters said he was ready to negotiate on border security, with a wide range of options.
"I propose a mile-by-mile survey of the entire border, an evidence-based inquiry, whether it's drones, or sensors, or radar, maybe a physical barrier in some places," he said.
East County Congressman Duncan Hunter, the region's lone Republican in the House of Representatives, said in a statement that it was his "personal preference" that any spending bill includes funding for a border wall.
"Congressional Democrats have made it abundantly clear that border security is not a priority for them, that they care more for the security and well-being of people in foreign countries than people here in our country," Hunter said. "Having met with the President yesterday at the White House, I trust his judgment and will stand by his side in moving forward in this manner, while, at the same time, hold the president and all my colleagues accountable in staying the course and eventually getting a border wall built."
Congresswoman Susan Davis, who represents central and south San Diego County, said in a statement that the top priority is getting federal workers their back pay.
"I encourage the President and the Republican Party to take stock of this shutdown and come to the conclusion that the only they achieve is causing pain," she said. "We need to come together in a bipartisan manner to get fully informed of the most efficacious approach to our border security options."
Trump said he now prefers a slatted steel barrier in some parts of the U.S. Mexico border, outfitted with technology. It would go where the technology isn't serving as a natural border.
"I think what's going to do is to say it's no longer sea to shining sea, here are the parts where I want the slats, here are the parts where I want the visible wall," said political analyst John Dadian. "I think that's going to be doable."