Sen. Lamar Alexander, Congressman Phil Roe discuss partial government shutdown

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A partial federal government shutdown now enters its third week. 

Millions of federal workers are wondering when they will see their next paycheck.

President Trump remains firm on his demand for millions of dollars to fund a southern border wall. President Trump indicated he may use his executive power to side-step Congress and build the wall with money from the military.

“I may declare a national emergency, dependent on what’s gonna happen over the next few days,” Trump said.

On Monday, President Trump said he will deliver a prime-time address Tuesday night on border security amid the ongoing shutdown fight. 

Lawmakers in Congress failed to reach a deal to end the partial government shutdown over the weekend.

On Monday, former U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and U.S. Congressman Phil Roe were in Unicoi County for the renaming of Rocky Fork State Park by Gov. Bill Haslam.

“You know there is no courage or skill in taking a position, there is courage and skill in getting a result and it’s time to show some of that,” Alexander said.

Alexander said any action on the House Democratic spending plans that don’t include funding for the wall would be a waste of time.

“It won’t make sense to start to bring up bills in the Senate that the president will veto, it takes 67 votes to override a veto so we don’t need to have an exercise that futile of a series of pieces of legislation of votes just to show off politically,” Alexander said.

He said it’s going to take a bipartisan effort to fix border security.

“What we need to do is act like adults and the president should sit down with the congressional leaders and they should come to a conclusion,” Alexander said.

Meanwhile, Roe provided a solution.

“You go ahead and provide the funding for border security,” Roe said. “Number two you look at a way for the dreamers the kids that came here as children, there may be kids right here living in Unicoi County that came here, they don’t know they aren’t American citizen so I think there is a way you could take those two and get an agreement and move forward.”

When WJHL asked Alexander if what he thought of President Trump’s decision for a partial government shutdown, he said: “I’m going to leave that to the news media, to the voters.”

If the shutdown lasts for 22 days, it will be the longest U.S. shutdown on record.

The shutdown under President Bill Clinton in 1995 is the longest on record lasting 21 days.

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