FT. MYERS, Fla — Congressman Francis Rooney (R-Naples) voted against a proposal by the new Democratic majority in the house that would have reopened the federal government.
The government shut down last month after Congress and President Trump could not agree on his $5.6 billion border wall proposal.
800,000 government workers will not be getting paid during the shut down.
“I worry about the hardship on different people that are basically political footballs, between the president and the Democrats, but I’m on the side of the president, we have to secure the border,” said Rooney.
Local Democrats agree that there needs more border security, but not a border wall.
“His whole platform was Mexico was going to pay for the wall, now all of a sudden he’s asking for 5.6 billion dollars,” said Gabriele Spuckes, Chair of the Lee County Democratic party.
Congressman Rooney says a wall across the entire border would be impossible because of the terrain.
But he says portions of a wall can be built in Southern California and East Texas, where there are a high number of illegal crossings.
"We should be deploying all elements that we can do to make the border secure. Drones, heat seeking cameras, lasers,” said Rooney.
Rooney defended his no vote on ending the shutdown by claiming Democrats want to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and are weak on border security.
But Spuckes says it’s President Trump’s fault.
“He (Trump) talks about being a good negotiator, but in actually, he’s not negotiating. It’s either give me the money for the wall or we won’t proceed with anything else, now he’s saying the shutdown could be months or years.”
Congressman Rooney says President Trump could do a better job of selling his border security plan, if his administration provided data on where the most illegal border crossings occur.