South Carolina Second District US Rep. Joe Wilson said Monday he is confident President Donald Trump can negotiate with Democratic lawmakers to stop the ongoing federal government shutdown.
“I’ve seen negotiations successful and I’m just confident that it will occur for the benefit of the American families,” the Republican while outlining his 2019 legislative agenda at his West Columbia office.
Wilson used examples of the Trump administration successfully negotiating for the release of hostages held by North Korea and Turkey.
“I have faith in President Trump. He’s a negotiator,” Wilson said.
The White House has been in talks with Democratic leadership in Washington over funding for a future Mexican border wall the president wants included in the most recent spending bill. Trump has been pushing for more than $5 billion in federal funding for the wall but congressional Democratic leaders say they will not provide any money for a wall.
Wilson said he believes national security should be considered when protecting the nation’s borders.
“Everybody should be focused on persons on the terrorist watch list,” he said. “The question is: is it one a day or ten a day that are coming across? It’s irrelevant. There are people who are coming across who are terrorists and this needs to be addressed.”
Wilson said he supports President Trump if he signs an executive order for the funding as a national emergency. Wilson said gangs and people trafficking in drugs and humans are entering the United States illegally.
“I believe that it is a national emergency,” Wilson said. “We have 8,500 people at the border and more caravans on the way. But as I identified the other challenges we have, to me, that’s the description of a national emergency that needs to be addressed.”
Wilson said the shutdown needs to be resolved by the end of the month when IRS workers are needed to prepare for the income tax filing season and checks for benefits such as SNAP are to be distributed.