Jeffries: Democrats refuse to pay $5B for Trump's government 'ransom note'

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesAnti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Appetite for Democratic term limits fizzling out Jeffries dismisses optics: We wanted testimony from Mueller, not Robert De Niro MORE (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that Democrats would not give in to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE's demands for funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, calling the proposal "ineffective" and a poor use of taxpayer money.

"At its core, our responsibility in government is to manage public money. We can either manage it efficiently or we can waste taxpayer dollars," Jeffries, who was recently elected Democratic caucus chairman, said on ABC's "This Week." "And what Donald Trump and the Republicans want to do is waste $5 billion in taxpayer money on an ineffective medieval border wall that is a fifth century solution to a 21st century problem.

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"Yes, we need comprehensive immigration reform," he continued. "Yes, we need to enhance border security. But we are not willing to pay $2.5 billion or $5 billion and wasting taxpayer dollars on a ransom note because Donald Trump decided that he was going to shut down the government and hold the American people hostage. That’s unreasonable."

Parts of the federal government have been shut down for more than a week as Trump and lawmakers clash over funding for his proposed border wall. Trump, who earlier this month said he'd be "proud" to shut down the government, has demanded $5 billion for the wall, while Democrats have refused to budge from an offer of $1.3 billion for border security.

The Senate previously passed a stopgap bill that contained $1.6 billion for border security, and the House passed a bill that contained $5 billion. The two sides have not been able to reach an agreement, and most lawmakers in recent days left Washington, D.C., indicating no breakthrough appears imminent.