WASHINGTON, D.C. — April 25, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall released the following statement after President Trump reportedly backed off his threat to force a government shutdown unless a funding bill to keep the government open included money for his plans to build a wall along the entire border with Mexico:
“Last week, I visited with New Mexicans on the border — business owners, immigrants, community leaders, farmers and others — and the overwhelming message I heard was that they oppose President Trump’s proposal to build a $70 billion border wall. They told me that a wall would be an insult to the binational community at the border and damage our relationship with our biggest trading partner, while wasting federal resources and failing to make us more secure. So I welcome the news that President Trump is backing down from his threats to shut down the government unless he gets taxpayer money for a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. Congressional Democrats were united against it, and I hope Congress now will be able to agree on a reasonable, bipartisan government funding bill that will support key agencies and programs important to New Mexico.
“The border zone is a bright spot in our state’s struggling economy, thanks to a productive trade relationship with Mexico, but President Trump’s rhetoric and policies risk throwing all of that away. Instead of blustering and making threats from Washington, President Trump should visit our border communities to learn firsthand why New Mexicans believe that his unnecessary and offensive wall will hurt our economy and our communities while doing nothing to secure the border. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and a representative for thousands of border residents, I will keep working to educate the Trump administration about reality. And I will not support funding for President Trump’s wall at the expense of health care, schools, veterans, scientific research, and other real needs in our country.”
Last week, Udall visited Southern New Mexico to listen to New Mexicans and hear how policies in Washington could affect their businesses and families. He attended a groundbreaking for the new and expanded Port of Entry in Columbus, which will improve security and create jobs in the community. The expansion is being made possible thanks to $85.6 million in federal funding, which Udall worked to secure. Udall also toured Southwest Steel and Coil, Inc. in Santa Teresa, and led a panel discussion there with business and community leaders about trade and border economic issues.