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President Trump addresses nation from Oval Office

President Donald Trump speaks Tuesday from the Oval Office of the White House as he gives a prime-time address about border security.

WASHINGTON — State and regional elected officials in Washington gave President Donald Trump mixed reviews after his first Oval Office address to the nation.

During his televised address on Tuesday night, Trump advocated for increased border security and a wall along the U.S. southern border, and Democrats rebutted Trump’s remarks and called for an end to a partial government shutdown that is nearing three weeks long. Debate about immigration policy, along with Trump’s request for $5 billion in funding for border security and specifically a wall, has led to the shutdown.

U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., who represents Racine County in Congress, said he is “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,” Steil said in a statement. “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.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., praised Trump in a tweet saying he “made a strong case for securing our border and fulfilling our responsibility to protect fellow Americans. Time to end the politics and properly fund border security.”

Democrats’ response

However, most Democrats have been critical of Trump’s decision to allow a partial government shutdown over border security.

In December, before the new Congress was sworn in, some thought a deal was made between the House and Senate that allowed for more than $1.5 billion to go toward a border wall, but it did not have Trump’s support.

“President Trump’s tantrums have forced the nation into political and economic chaos. His behavior and this shutdown are inexcusable,” U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, a Democrat from Milwaukee said at the time the shutdown began. “For the sake of our nation and the good of the public, House Republicans and President Trump need to do their job, fund the government, and put an end to this mess.”

After the new Congress was sworn in, Democrats took over as the majority in the House. That began a new era of divided government during the Trump Administration.

The House voted on H.R.21, which would have provided the necessary funds to reopen the government but no funding for a border wall. It passed the House without amendment.

The bill is now in the Senate but, again, the president does not support the legislation.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., and said he needs to “stop obstructing a vote in the Senate.”

“The House did their job and passed bipartisan legislation to end the Trump shutdown,” Baldwin said in a statement. “Both Democrats and Republicans agree President Trump should end his shutdown and sign bipartisan legislation to open the government.”

“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.” U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis.

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Reporter

Ricardo Torres covers federal, state and Racine County politics along with the Village of Mount Pleasant. He bleeds Wisconsin sports teams.

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