WASHINGTON, D.C.— Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement after President Trump addressed the nation regarding the ongoing government shutdown and his determination to secure our southern border:

“I applaud President Trump’s willingness to address our nation and once again encourage Democrats to come to the negotiating table. The contrast between President Trump and Congressional Democrats could not be clearer today: the American people can see he is serious about ending the longest government shutdown in history and securing our border, while Democrats have yet to make a single legitimate counteroffer throughout the last month the government has been shut down.

“The statistics don’t lie: 17,000 individuals with past criminal records were caught attempting to cross our southern border last year. 90% of the heroin in our country, which kills more than 300 Americans every week, flows through our southern border. A new migrant caravan is heading north toward our border states. The humanitarian and security crisis at our border gets worse every day and our federal workers are facing yet another week without a paycheck.

“The time for political games has long passed. Democrats must put their personal dislike of the President aside, end their obstruction, and finally come to the negotiating table. It’s time Democrats do what is right for the functioning and security of our nation and agree to a deal that opens our government, and includes funding for a border wall and other measures to solve this serious immigration crisis at our southern border.”