Heidi Heitkamp Opposes Wall Funding After Declaring She ‘Always’ Supported Wall, Border Security

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) pledged on Friday to vote against a spending bill that contains wall funding after revealing in August that she has “always supported” increased border security and wall funding.

Sen. Heitkamp, who lost her Senate re-election campaign to Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), announced on Twitter on Friday that she plans to vote against the continuing resolution (CR) that would provide $5.7 billion in border wall funding.

“Just landed back in DC to vote no on the CR,” Heitkamp said. “The Senate already passed a bipartisan bill to fund the government. Now the House needs to pass it and the President should sign it.”

Congressman Cramer defeated Sen. Heitkamp by 11 points in the 2018 midterm elections:

“I have already supported $5 billion once for border security and Republicans couldn’t get it across the finish line,” the North Dakota Democrat said, relenting on her previous statements to support border security funding:

“For two years, I’ve been asking for the administration’s plan for border security at the Southern Border. Crickets. No corporate boardroom would give a CEO money for a project without a plan,” Heitkamp added:

The North Dakota Democrat’s statement struck a stark contrast to her comment to Breitbart News in August when she revealed that she has “always” supported increased border security and wall funding.

Heitkamp told Breitbart News in a comment in August:

I’ve always supported increased and enhanced border security along our southwest border with Mexico – including physical barriers, sensors, drones, and more resources at our ports of entry – and yes, wall funding as well. My votes clearly reflect a commitment to robust border security funding. And shutting down the government is never the way to go.

The North Dakota Democrat said that her vote record indicates a commitment to border security; however, her vote against the House-passed CR raises questions about whether she was catering to deep red North Dakota voters in her August comment because she faced a competitive Senate race against Congressman Cramer.

Given that Sen. Heitkamp lost her Senate election, one might wonder if she merely supported border security funding in August to pander to voters, and now that she lost her race—her anti-border security policies have come out of the shadows.

Further, her statement, “And shutting down the government is never the way to go,” runs counter to her vote on Friday, which would lead to a partial government shutdown if the CR does not pass through the Senate.

In her comment to Breitbart News in August, she also questioned if a border wall serves the “most economic and efficient way possible.”

Heitkamp said:

The issue is, are we spending the money in the most economic and efficient way possible that actually makes a substantial difference in securing the border – and reflects what landowners, tribes, and border patrol agents along the southwest border all agree is needed.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a leading immigration group, said last year that a “physical barrier on the southern border is a necessity” if the government hopes to secure its southern border.

The North Dakota Democrat also said that Republicans and Democrats need to come together to secure our border, although her vote against border security Friday questions her commitment to bipartisanship.

Sen. Heitkamp said, “To truly address the challenges at our border, Republicans and Democrats need to work together, just as the Senate did back in 2013, to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.”

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