SPONSORED:

Corker: Border wall standoff is a 'made-up fight'

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerIt's time for Biden's Cuba GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans cannot let Trump's 'reckless' post-election claims stand MORE (R-Tenn.) says the standoff over a border wall that has shut down federal agencies is a “made-up fight” that is more about President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE scoring political points than securing the country.

“This is a purposely contrived fight. At the end of the day, no matter who wins our borders are still going to be insecure,” Corker said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Corker noted that Trump and Senate Democratic leaders are fighting over only a few billion dollars in border fencing funding.

Trump has asked Congress to spend $5 billion on a border wall, or a steel slat barrier, as he has recently modified his demand, while Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill Budowsky: Cruz goes to Cancun, AOC goes to Texas MORE (N.Y.) has only offered $1.3 billion for border fencing.

Corker said spending only a few billion on border security won’t make much difference.

“Now the government is shut down over what ultimately is going to be $2 billion. This is a made-up fight so the president can look like he’s fighting but even if he wins, our borders are going to be insecure,” he said.

Corker noted that the Senate approved significantly more money to secure the border in 2013, when the chamber passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

“In 2013, a border security amendment passed with 69 votes where Republicans [were] in the minority — $46 billion to secure our border. Our borders would have been secure,” he said.

He argued that if Trump was motivated primarily by border security instead of politics, he would have accepted the deal that Schumer offered him in January: $25 billion for border security in exchange for the reauthorization of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“The president could have received $25 billion in border security, just by dealing with the Dreamers. Which by the way, most Republicans want to deal with the Dreamers,” Corker said, referring to immigrants who came to the country illegally at a young age.

Dreamers were protected from deportation by former President Obama’s creation of the DACA program in 2012, which Trump rescinded last year.

"I think this next three months could well determine whether [Trump] decides to run again or not," Corker added on Sunday.

--This report was updated at 1:08 p.m.