Dem lawmaker calls on Democrats to ‘give Trump the money’ for border wall

Rep. Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonOvernight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Democrats take aim at Trump policies by passing T spending package House passes amendment to block funding for transgender troops ban MORE (D-Minn.) called on his Democratic colleagues to give President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE the funding for his long-desired border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, saying its construction is inevitable.

“Give Trump the money,” Peterson told KFGO’s “News & Views” on Tuesday. “I’d give him the whole thing … and put strings on it so you make sure he puts the wall where it needs to be. Why are we fighting over this? We’re going to build that wall anyway, at some time.”

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The 15-term congressman said top Democrats look at him “cross-eyed” when he makes this suggestion.

The funding could come with stipulations requiring some money go toward Border Patrol and improving security measures at ports of entry, Peterson said.

“I don’t know if I want to give [Trump] a blank check, but I don’t want to preclude him from getting the money either, if he’s going to use the money correctly,” Peterson told the the outlet.

Peterson said Democratic leadership handing over the requested $5.7 billion for the wall would end the “unnecessary” partial government shutdown which began on Dec. 22.

He is one of Congress’s most conservative Democrats and represents Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, an area Trump won by 30 points during the 2016 presidential election.

The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee said he hasn’t been in contact with the Trump White House about shutdown negotiations, adding “I don’t now how we get [to a deal].”

The partial government shutdown, currently in its 32nd day, has forced roughly a quarter of the government to shutter. Approximately 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or are working without pay.

Trump offered a proposal Saturday that would fully reopen the government, provide money for the wall and give a three-year extension of legal protections to immigrants who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients or Temporary Protected Status holders.

Top Democrats, however, dismissed his proposal as a non-starter.

“Democrats were hopeful that the President was finally willing to re-open government and proceed with a much-need discussion to protect the border. Unfortunately, initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Lawmakers 'failed us' says ICE chief Pelosi, Democratic leaders seek to quell liberal revolt over border bill MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement.