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Politics and Government

Katko calls on parties, Trump to end federal shutdown

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Ryan Delaney
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WRVO News File Photo
Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus)

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) says there are no clean hands in the fight that has caused the federal government to shut down.

President Donald Trump has been in a political standoff with Democrats for about a week over his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a proposed wall along the country's southern border. Katko said in an interview Thursday the two sides need to come together to end this stalemate.

"Meet in the middle and turn the lights back on and get this thing done," Katko said. "People standing there and blaming the other side - that's not productive. We need to get back to the point where we understand compromise is a good thing not a bad thing."

Katko said part of the reason the shutdown occurred is because president Trump is not getting enough input from all members of the GOP.

"He's getting an undue amount of influence from the far-right of our party and I think if he gave equal time to others in the party - for example I'm one of the leaders of the moderate wing of the party - if he gave us equal time to explain our position, perhaps he would have had a more tempered position."

As a former federal drug prosecutor, Katko said he believes some kind of barrier is needed in high-trafficked areas along the Mexico border. But the Republican says there are other areas where it is not necessary and other places along the border that could be protected with electric fencing.