Kansas Rep.-elect Davids to support Democratic shutdown plan

Posted at 7:07 AM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 08:07:39-05

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' new Democratic congresswoman is preparing to vote for legislation drafted by her party's leaders for reopening parts of the federal government, and she hopes President Donald Trump will accept the package.

Rep.-elect Sharice Davids said during an Associated Press interview Wednesday that the wall Trump wants to build on the U.S.-Mexico border is "not a good use of taxpayer resources." Parts of the federal government have been shut down since Dec. 22 because the dispute over the wall has prevented passage of funding bills for several departments.

The legislation Davids supports would fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8, with $1.3 billion for border security. Trump wants $5.6 billion for the wall.

Democrats take control of the House when the new session begins Thursday, but it's not clear whether the GOP-controlled Senate would consider the Democratic package. Davids said the proposals have had bipartisan support in the past.

"Hopefully, we'll see the House and the Senate send over a bill to get the government back up and going and that the president will see that it is not good for our country for the government to continue to be shut down," she said.

Davids, who will represent the 3rd Congressional District in the Kansas City area, will be the only Democrat in the state's delegation and the first since 2010. She is to be sworn into office Thursday, along with Republican Rep.-elect Steve Watkins from the 2nd District in eastern Kansas.

Watkins' office did not immediately reply to messages Wednesday seeking comment about the dispute over border security. But he said repeatedly during his campaign that he supports building the border wall.