The 1st Congressional District’s new representative expressed frustration Wednesday at the continuing government shutdown.
And through a spokeswoman, Rep. Bryan Steil said he supports President Donald Trump’s request for border-security funding.
The freshman Republican from Janesville issued a response to Trump’s Oval Office address Tuesday night, saying:
“I am frustrated with the logjam we find ourselves in. Providing the tools and resources to keep our homeland safe are commonsense solutions that my colleagues from both sides of the aisle can support.”
He continued: “I am in Congress to work with anyone to get the job done and solve these problems, not to play political games with our border security and government funding. We must secure our border and end the shutdown.”
The Gazette asked Steil spokeswoman Sally Fox to whom Steil was referring when he mentioned playing political games.
“Bryan is drawing a contrast between his priorities and the dysfunction that engulfs Washington,” Fox said in an email. “Progress will not be made if differing parties walk away from the negotiating table. Bryan will work with any of his colleagues to find a solution that addresses border security needs and ends the shutdown.”
In a further email exchange, The Gazette asked Fox if Steil supports Trump’s border wall.
“Bryan supports the president’s funding request for border security,” Fox responded. “Specifically, the requested funding would go towards mechanisms to deter and detect narcotics and weapons coming across the border, construction of 234 miles of a steel barrier, hiring of additional law enforcement agents and personnel, and hiring of additional immigration judges and support staff.”
The 234-mile barrier is apparently a reference to the president’s $5.7 billion proposal that is often referred to as a wall, which Congressional Democrats oppose.
The $5.7 billion is the largest single expenditure in the proposal.
Neither the word “wall” nor Democrats were mentioned in Steil’s original statement or in Fox’s follow-up emails.