While Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may be against working with President Donald Trump to end the shutdown, that doesn’t mean that her whole Democratic caucus is on board with her stonewalling.
Congressman Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) is a member of the Blue Dog Democratic caucus as well as the Problem Solvers caucus whose goals are to work together to find bipartisan solutions to end Congressional gridlock.
Van Drew has already been on the radar of Republicans looking for Democrats who are willing to vote against Pelosi. In fact, the congressman caught a lot of attention when he just voted “no” instead of casting a vote for Pelosi to be the speaker.
During a Fox News interview, Van Drew explained that he sees the shutdown as “disgraceful” and wants to do what it takes to work the Republicans to reopen the government.
“I think we need to ensure that we negotiate as much as possible, as soon as possible 24/7. I believe it’s been disgraceful to see our Coast Guard literally on soup lines and going to kitchens just to get food. I think it’s disgraceful to see that our corrections officers, our federal corrections officers are affected by all of this. If we all feel this way, I mean if we really do feel this way, this is not just some amorphous, philosophical issue — these are real people that can’t pay real bills — then we’ve got to get this done.”
Van Drew explained that there is a “part of the party” that is willing to come to an agreement that includes increased funding for the wall.
“It doesn’t mean we’re fractured and everybody has split apart, it just means that we need to get this done,” Van Drew said. “If we all know we want to do something about [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] DACA, we all know that we want to immediately open up our government, then we know that the problem is border security. So let’s sit down.”
Van Drew’s position closely follows the proposal detailed by President Trump on Saturday calling for three years of DACA protections in exchange for $5.7 billion for the wall. But, as IJR reported earlier, Pelosi wants nothing to do with that deal.
It remains to be seen how Van Drew and his fellow Blue Dogs will impact these shutdown negotiations.