Minnesota Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson: Give Trump the wall money

He thinks the president should get what he wants to end the shutdown.
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Minnesota's 7th Congressional Rep. Collin Peterson – a Democrat – thinks President Trump should get the money for the wall in order to end the government shutdown.

Democrats have been holding firm in the face of Trump's demands that $5.7 billion for border wall funding be included in any deal to end the shutdown, noting that this money could have been allocated when the Republicans had control of both branches of Congress as recently as last month.

The Democratic-controlled House has passed bills that would re-open the government without the wall money, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not holding a vote on any bill in the Senate that he knows the president wouldn't sign.

Democrats have been fairly united in their opposition to the bill, but one that is now calling for his party to accede to Trump's demands is Rep. Peterson.

Speaking on KFGO Tuesday morning, the western Minnesota congressman said his party should give the president the money he's seeking.

"Give Trump the money," he said, KFGO reports. “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.”

"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," noting some of the funding could go towards border control and improvements at ports of entry.

He said when he brings up his views to his fellow Democrats, "they look at me cross-eyed."

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The Hill reports that the latest polls show 49 percent of Americans blame the president and Republicans for the continued shutdown, which started a month ago today, while 26 percent blame Democrats, and 24 percent blame both.

Peterson is a Democrat representing a predominantly Republican region of Minnesota, and has always been one of the more likely Democrats to cross the political divide.

Just last month, Peterson sided with a Paul Ryan amendment to prevent any action being taken on Yemen until the new Congress.

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