Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) caved on Wednesday, suggesting that he will support funding President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall in a September spending bill.
Donnelly, who is facing intense scrutiny over his position on immigration from Indiana Senate Republican nominee Mike Braun, said on Wednesday that he is fine with giving President Trump up to $5 billion in funding for his promised wall on America’s southern border.
Trump has continued to threaten a government shutdown before or after the 2018 midterm elections if he does not get border wall funding in the September spending bill. The 45th president has suggested that he wants $5 billion in funding for the wall in the spending bill.
Donnelly said that he does “not want under any circumstances” a government shutdown and said that Congress should “absolutely” partially fund the president’s wall.
“I’m fine with providing him some more. I actually voted for border wall funding three different times,” Donnelly told Politico on Wednesday. “I’m fine with that. I’m fine with $3 [billion], $3.5, $4 or $5” billion this fall.
Donnelly also said that he has supported President Trump’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) solution, which would provide $25 billion for the wall, cut legal immigration, and grant amnesty for roughly 1.8 million illegal aliens.
Braun, Donnelly’s Republican opponent for the U.S. Senate, suggested that Donnelly caved to increasing political pressure to support Trump’s wall amidst a tight Senate race. One poll this summer had businessman Mike Braun beating Donnelly.
On Wednesday, Braun released a new TV ad, “Doer” which contrasted Braun’s records of creating hundreds of jobs while Donnelly outsourced jobs to Mexico while providing little for Hoosiers.
Josh Kelly, Mike Braun’s spokesman, said on Wednesday, “Mike Braun is a doer: From creating hundreds of American jobs, to offering his employees nearly double the minimum wage starting out and affordable, stable healthcare, Mike Braun gets things done for Hoosier families.”
Mike Braun, as the founder and chief executive of Meyer Distributing, paid his employers nearly double the minimum wage in Indiana at $14.50 per hour. As a result of President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Braun lowered the amount that employees have to contribute to their health insurance plans.
In contrast, the Center for Effective Lawmaking, a nonpartisan think tank, labeled Donnelly the least effective Democrat in the Senate.
Last year the Associated Press (AP) reported that as Sen. Donnelly slammed Carrier Corp. for moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico, he profited from a family business that relied on Mexico labor to produce dye for ink pads. Donelly has long attacked free-trade policies for hollowing out America’s manufacturing sector, however, Donelly’s family arts and crafts business profited from the very same trade and low wage labor policies the senator has decried.
“Braun’s doer record is a stark contrast to career politician Senator Donnelly, the least effective Democrat in the Senate, who profits from his family business outsourcing Hoosier jobs to Mexico and consistently votes against doers like Mike Braun,” Kelly added in a statement on Wednesday.