Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons released statements Jan. 19 regarding President Donald Trump’s speech on the government shutdown.

“Mr. President, there is one way to end this shutdown: reopen the government this weekend. Once that happens, I would urge you to convene a bipartisan meeting with leaders in the House and Senate to have serious and substantive discussions about securing our borders and fixing our broken immigration system. Many of my colleagues and I have been steeped in these issues for years. We know the ins and outs and have had success finding areas of agreement in the past. We can do it again. But we cannot hold federal workers, their families and their paychecks hostage in the meantime,” said Carper.

“There has already been unanimous agreement in the Senate about providing funding for important border security measures. There is also bipartisan agreement about providing permanent protections and a pathway to legal status for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status recipients. And, just last week, even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce acknowledged that the way to seriously address migration to our border is to provide aid to the Northern Triangle countries in Central America — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — and fully fund the Alliance for Prosperity. These are some of the common sense ideas that I believe both my Democratic and Republican colleagues stand ready and willing to discuss further, Mr. President, as soon as our government is open for business,” said Carper.

“This senseless government shutdown is hurting millions of Americans, and its impacts are only getting worse. The president should reopen the government so that Republicans and Democrats in Congress can work with the White House to find a sensible solution on border security and immigration. I am confident that a reasonable compromise can be reached, but not while President Trump continues to keep significant parts of the government shutdown and Leader McConnell refuses to meaningfully negotiate with Senate Democrats,” said Coons.

“Some relief for Dreamers and an extension of Temporary Protected Status represent a first step toward comprehensive immigration reform, but more ideas from members of both parties should be taken up and debated. Republicans and Democrats stand ready to work toward a solution, but the fact remains that there is no reason to have large parts of the federal government shut down while we debate appropriate border security and immigration policies,” said Coons.

“Next week, the House will once again pass legislation already agreed upon by House and Senate negotiators to reopen the government. The Senate should also pass those bills and the president should sign them in order to reopen the government and allow for robust negotiations on border security and immigration policies,” said Coons.