INDIANAPOLIS — Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said he supports giving President Donald Trump the money he wants to build a border wall, which breaks from what many of his fellow Democrats have said on the issue.
Donnelly’s reason for allowing the money to be allocated for the wall appears to be to avoid a government shutdown. He told Politico this week that he does “not want under any circumstances” a shutdown.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to allow a government shutdown this fall if he does not receive sufficient funding for the border wall. Trump has not said how much he wants for the issue, but Donnelly said he’s willing to give Trump upwards of $5 billion.
“I’m fine with providing him some more,” Donnelly told Politico. “I actually voted for border wall funding three different times. I’m fine with that. I’m fine with $3 [billion], $3.5, $4 or $5” billion this fall.”
Donnelly has presented himself as a moderate option for Hoosiers.
“In Washington, someone has to bridge the divide between the far left and the far right,” he said in a recent campaign ad. “That’s where I stand. In our Hoosier common-sense middle.”
Donnelly’s Republican opponent this November, Mike Braun, seized on the Donnelly’s statement on the border funding.
“My gut would tell me he wasn’t saying that nine, 10 months ago,” Braun told Politico. “He’s going to probably even be cut some slack by his base so he can stay alive and have a chance of staying in contention.”
Donnelly is one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election on Nov. 8. A recent Axios/SurveyMonkey poll showed a close race, with Braun up, 49-47.
PHOTO: Abdul-Hakim Shabazz/Emmis