Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz said Thursday morning he believes President Donald Trump needs to “hold the line” on his demand that Congress provide funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The federal government is partially shut down because Congress cannot pass a spending bill that includes $5 billion for Trump’s wall. Chaffetz, a former member of Congress and possible 2020 Utah gubernatorial candidate, said most people haven’t noticed the shutdown yet, which gives Trump leverage in the budget negotiations.
“75-percent of the government is funded through automatic spending, so you’re talking about something very small,” said Chaffetz. “Have you noticed it yet? Most people haven’t. I feel for those federal workers, but the president is right. He has got to hold the line and I think he will.”
The New York Times reported on Thursday that many of the 800,000 federal workers who are currently furloughed or working without pay because of the partial shutdown are worrying more and more they won’t be able to pay their bills.
Republicans only have unified control of the federal government until January 3, when Democrats take control of the House. Chaffetz says he believes the new Democratic majority in the House and Republicans will strike a deal before President Trump gives his State of the Union address in January.
“The president has already gone way out there on this,” said Chaffetz. “I think the president needs to pound on a daily basis the moral imperative to build the wall and curb all these negative things that are coming into the country without a wall. I would also on a daily basis say let’s do what our law enforcement wants to do. Let’s do what the border patrol wants to do.”