Katko Calls On Democrats, GOP To Compromise On Border Security

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SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – The White House has signaled it may not shut down the government over $5 billion for a wall along the Southern Border. But central New York’s congressional representative said the issue is not going away.

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) addresses the crowd after winning reelection. ELLEN ABBOTT / WRVO NEWS

President Donald Trump threatened the shutdown at a contentious meeting with Democratic leaders Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office last week. Schumer told reporters in Albany on Friday the meeting did not go as planned.

“We were told the meeting would have no press and it would be a quiet discussion and then we sat down, he invited all the press in and then he started talking,” Schumer said.

The scene was sophomoric and there were no clean hands after it, according to Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). He said this issue will be recurring. Trump’s idea is $25 billion over five years for a border wall. Katko said border security and immigration should be bipartisan issues.

“The Democrats dug in, not wanting to give the president any wins,” Katko said. “The president had an opportunity a while back, with an immigration bill I helped negotiate, that would have been a comprehensive immigration and border security reform. He was influenced by the far right of my party and he sent bad signals and that’s why the bill failed.”

Katko said not a single Democrat voted for that bill earlier this year, even though, besides funding a wall, it helped DACA recipients, also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or kids brought into the country illegally.

“When they had a chance to give them not only status but a path to citizenship, they turned their back on it for political reasons,” Katko said.

As he gets ready for a new term, Katko said he hopes both sides will put down their swords and get a deal done.