Byron Donalds says he won’t vote for government funding ‘if the border is not secured’

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said Sunday he would not vote for government funding “if the border is not secured.”

Donalds pushed back on NBC’s Kristen Welker over questions on whether he was willing to shut down the government over border security. When asked if he was willing to shut down the government, he instead pivoted to claiming President Biden “is willing to shut [it] down over border security,” despite Biden never indicating he was willing to have the government shut down when funding runs out.

Welker continued to press Donalds on the topic, but the Florida Republican maintained that he is willing to support funding the government as long as the border “is secure.”

“I’m willing to fund the government as long as our border is secure. The first job of the government is to secure the border. Any business that provides a service, if they don’t give you the service, do you give them money?” he said. “The answer is no. Kristen, you don’t even do that.”

“The government has a responsibility. Our cities are overrun. Our schools are overrun. Our shelters are overrun. And Joe Biden allows the disaster to continue,” he added.

When asked if he would vote to shut down the government if he “did not see a border security plan in the package,” Donalds said he “will not be voting for any funding if the border is not secured.”

Congress is slated to return to Washington this week ahead of a couple of crucial funding deadlines. They have until March 1 to fund a handful of agencies and until March 8 for the rest as they scramble to reach a deal on government spending.

The Senate had unveiled a bipartisan border security deal earlier this month that included funding for Ukraine, Israel and Indo-Pacific allies, but Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) declared it dead on arrival.

Donalds had criticized the discussions surrounding a bipartisan deal on the border last month and appeared to call for stricter provisions on the border.

“This is why we don’t listen to the Senate Republicans,” Donalds said in an interview with Fox News at the time. “What they did in the Senate is once again some ham-handed deal that would help the Democrats save face [and] give Republican leadership an ability to say that they did something.”

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