House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) slammed President Trump Tuesday night in the Democrat Party’s televised response to the president’s Oval Office address on his proposal to erect a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Pelosi accused the president of holding the well being of the American people “hostage,” by “obsessing” over fortification of the southern border with an “expensive and ineffective” physical barrier.
“The fact is President Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety and well being of the American people and withhold the paychecks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation, many of them veterans,” the California Democrat said.
Building a $5.7 billion wall that would make it impossible for unvetted foreigners to flood the US border would ultimately be economically advantageous for the United States, Trump argued moments before the Democratic rebuttal, as illicit drugs trafficked through the US – Mexico pipeline cost the government $500 billion a year.
The president also noted Mexico will inadvertently pay for the wall, as he promised throughout the course of the 2016 campaign, via the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, the replacement to NAFTA.
Schumer slammed Trump for claiming the wall would be cost-effective and accused the commander-in-chief of governing by “temper tantrum.”
“The President of the United States, having failed to get Mexico to pay for his ineffective unnecessary border wall, and unable to convince the Congress or the American people to foot the bill, has shutdown the government. American democracy doesn’t work that way. We don’t govern by temper tantrum,” the New York senator bemoaned. “No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way, or else the government shuts down, hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage.”
Doubling down on Pelosi’s assertion that a border wall is “immoral, Schumer warned “the symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall.”
“Most presidents have used Oval Office addresses for noble purposes. The president just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration,” he said in conclusion, “Our suggestion is a simple one: Mr. President reopen the government and we can work to resolve our differences over border security, but end this shutdown now.”