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

Rep. Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonBold and urgent Green New Deal may change Washington’s climate change inertia GOP seeks to change narrative in shutdown fight Dem lawmaker calls on Democrats to ‘give Trump the money’ for border wall MORE (D-Minn.) called on his Democratic colleagues to give President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win Congress allows Violence Against Women Act to lapse High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement.