Casey, Toomey glad shutdown over, but differ on border options

Kim Glovas
January 25, 2019 - 4:27 pm
From left: Sen. Pat Toomey, Sen. Bob Casey

Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/MCT/Sipa USA; Chris Dunn/York Daily Record via USA TODAY NETWORK

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The end of the government shutdown is good news for those impacted furloughed employees, but the focus still lingers on negotiations surrounding border security — while keeping the government running. 

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is glad the shutdown is over, but he said this could have been avoided from the beginning. Nothing has changed, he said — except the president's mind. 

In three weeks leading up to President Donald Trump's deadline, Casey believes the government should remain open. 

"Keep the government open and operating and don't condition that on policy," he added. "There's plenty of time to debate policy on border security or any other issue."

Casey is against a wall. He recalled how Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said there is a better way to enforce security.

"And what he said way back in October of 2017, he said his top priority to secure the border was drive-through inspection systems," said Casey. 

That system would inspect every passenger vehicle, every piece of cargo and every food container — and cost $300 million, according to Casey, compared to $5.7 billion for Trump's wall. 

"That's how you keep the drugs out," he added.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, in a written statement, said he is also glad the shutdown is over. He said we need a compromise to improve border security.

"Over the next three weeks, the president and Congress will have an opportunity to craft a workable solution," said Toomey. "As I have said all along, the obvious, necessary resolution is a compromise that improves border security — including physical barriers where they make sense — and delivers on some Democrat priorities, too. I hope Democrats, who promised to negotiate in good faith if the government were open, will now compromise with the president so the country can put this frustrating episode behind us."