NEW HAVEN – U.S. Rep. Jim Banks faults congressional leaders and not President Donald Trump for the partial government shutdown that lasted more than a month.

"All of the blame that was directed at President Trump for the government shutdown, no matter what he said, is unfair until something reaches his desk that he vetoes, forcing a government shutdown," Banks, R-3rd, said Monday.

"But until Congress acts and passes something, you can't blame him. At this point, he signed the only thing that's reached his desk related to the spending deal to fund the government," Banks told about two-dozen people at a town hall meeting at the New Haven Community Center.

Congress last week passed, and Trump signed, legislation that funds the government until Feb. 15. Trump has been insisting on $5.7 billion to build a southern border wall, a proposal that Democratic lawmakers successfully resisted.

"Congressional leadership has failed so far in this process by not passing something substantive to fund the government," Banks said. "I will only vote for a deal that provides for greater funding for border security to address the issues at the border."
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