Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, one of the lawmakers who worked on the bipartisan bill allocating $1.4 billion for border security fencing, said Thursday the plan is a "great down payment" for President Donald Trump's longer-term plans, and urged her colleagues to vote to pass it.
"It's 55 new miles of wall," the West Virginia Republican told CNN's "New Day." "It's the most new miles of wall that the Border Patrol has ever gotten in any kind of appropriations."
The plan also has "significant resources" for more border and customs agents, and "massive" increases in technology, she added.
"I see it as a three-legged stool," said Capito. "I think it provides the border security and I think that we should move forward with this because it puts us on a track for significant improvements."
She also disagreed that the bill calls only for fencing, saying that she believes the money can be used for steel slats Trump has been talking about.
"That is actually the design that's preferred" by the Border Patrol, said Capito. "We've been making the argument all along that we need to let the professionals tell us what the design is better. So in my view, it's semantics on fencing or wall. It's a preventative barrier and that's the significant issue here."
Meanwhile, the government shutdown did not help with the deal, and shutdowns don't help anyone, said Capito.
"It hurts people," she said. "It erodes the faith and trust of our constituents and our ability to get our job done and for the president to lead."
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