SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) -- New congressman Ben McAdams, the only Utah Democrat in the U.S. House and Senate, said in a 2News interview he could vote for border wall funding, if it’s packaged with immigration reform and a “fix for the Dreamers and DACA.”
“Look, I would vote for funding to protect the border, and some of that may include a wall,” said McAdams, after touring a Salt Lake County Health Department Women, Infants and Children clinic that could run out of money, if the partial government shutdown continues for months.
McAdams’ comments seem to break with Democratic leaders in Congress. Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have repeatedly said they will not agree to fund the wall, a signature campaign promise for President Trump, which he insists must be part of a solution to reopen the government.
Pelosi has even called the wall “immoral.”
“I don’t think a border wall is immoral,” said McAdams. “I think it may not be the best use of tax dollars for a 2,000 mile wall. There are places where it probably makes sense.”
Our interview was before the president’s new offer over the weekend, which would give temporary three year protection for immigrants who might otherwise face deportation, including children who were brought into the country illegally by their families, in exchange for $5.7 billion dollars in border wall funding.
After the President Trump unveiled the proposal, McAdams released a statement saying, “I’m glad the President now seems willing to discuss solutions for #DREAMers. I’ve voted 8 times to reopen the government. Let’s do it already and follow through on strong border security and immigration reform including a permanent fix for #DACA.”
McAdams echoed other Democrats in saying the government should be reopened first, before negotiations on a border wall, but he cast new members of Congress as more open to meeting on middle ground.
“I’ve talked to some of the freshmen Democrats and freshmen Republicans, who are willing support a compromise that would include some funding for the wall,” McAdams said.
“Yourself included?” 2News asked.
“Myself included,” he replied.