SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, signed a letter along with other moderate Democrats calling for House and Senate leadership in both parties to come up with a solution to the federal government shutdown.
The border wall sought by President Donald Trump but opposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders could be part of that solution, McAdams spokeswoman Alyson Heyrend said.
"Congressman McAdams believes there should be a vote on border security measures that all sides can debate and formulate," Heyrend told the Deseret News. "A border barrier could be part of that debate and vote."
McAdams, the lone Democrat in Utah's congressional delegation, "supports effective border security and immigration reform, including permanent protection for Dreamers," Heyrend said, referring to people brought into the country illegally as children.
"That's not a 2,000-mile border wall but it could be additional border barrier construction in combination with other types of security technology and personnel," she said.
On Tuesday, a founder of the Blue Dog Coalition behind the letter, Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minnesota, became one of the first Democrats to say publicly Congress should agree to Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the Mexican border.
The coalition's letter does not mention the president's wall. Instead, it says House and Senate leaders need to hold a bipartisan summit to come up with legislation that can pass Congress and withstand a possible presidential veto.
"Our current political stalemate is punishing families, destabilizing our economy, weakening our national security, and embarrassing our great country on the world stage," the letter reads.41 comments on this story
McAdams said in a statement that more than a month into the shutdown, "people see that what we're doing back here isn't working." He said the shutdown is weakening the nation's security and is costing an estimated $26 billion.
"In my district, families are struggling with paying bills, covering medical costs and finding temporary jobs," McAdams said. "The shutdown is a disgrace and people are rightly frustrated that we're not doing the job of funding government operations."