President Donald J. Trump (R) wants to build a wall on the southern border to curb the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs. Democrats have thwarted efforts to build the wall. The President is refusing to sign a measure to continue funding the government unless he gets $5 billion to begin building his wall. On Friday, Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, announced that he supports the President’s efforts.
“I fully support President Trump’s strong and aggressive effort to protect our country’s interests by securing funding for a wall along our southern border,” McCutcheon said in a statement. “Until we stop countless illegal immigrants from casually jumping the border, our national security will remain compromised, innocent lives will be lost to human trafficking, and the flood of drugs will continue destroying our children’s futures.”
On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to continue funding the government through February; but that bill did not appropriate any money for Pres.vTrump’s border wall. On Thursday, President Trump said that he would not sign a funding bill without border wall funding. The Republican controlled House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill to fund the government with an amendment providing over $5 billion to fund construction of the border wall.
Republicans have a narrow 51 to 49 majority in the U.S. Senate; but under Senate rules it takes 60 votes to cut off debate so that a vote can be taken. Democrats are refusing to vote for the funding bill with the border wall included. An effort to change Senate rules to where a simple majority is all that it takes to advance legislation failed on Friday.
“Those in Congress who oppose the funding should stop playing partisan games and set aside their petty personal disputes with the administration,” Speaker McCutcheon said. “I join millions of my fellow Alabamians in standing with President Trump and demanding that Congress provide the necessary funding today.”
“Even President Ronald Reagan tried for 8 years to build a Border Wall, or Fence, and was unable to do so,” Pres. Trump said on Twitter Friday. “Others also have tried. We will get it done, one way or the other!”
As of press time negotiations were still under way between the leaders of both Houses and the White House, but the government is inching towards a partial shutdown.
State Representative Mac McCutcheon was elected Speaker of the House in 2017 after former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, was convicted of felony ethics violations. The Republican Caucus, which has an overwhelming supermajority in the Alabama House, has re-nominated McCutcheon for the position of Speaker for the next four years. McCutcheon is retired from a lengthy career in law enforcement.