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US Rep. Greg Stanton says wall is not ‘smart border security’

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX — As Congress struggles to reopen the federal government over border security funding, one of Arizona’s newest representatives is advocating for a different form of security.

U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton, who was sworn into office on Thursday, said he believes the country needs “smart border security” — which does not include a border wall.

“I think the best thing we can do is better utilize technology, boots on the ground,” Stanton told KTAR News 92.3 FM Arizona’s Morning News on Friday.

Stanton pushed back against claims that Democrats do not support border security but argued that the first order of business for the 116th Congress should be to end the partial shutdown, which stretched into its 14th day.

On Stanton’s first day in the House, lawmakers “passed a series of bills exactly what the Senate voted on without any changes,” he said.

“These are bipartisan bills that we tried to compromise on with the Senate and hopefully the president will sign those bills.”

The former Phoenix mayor also said he is not among the House Democrats who are calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Stanton said he is “reserving judgment” until he sees the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, adding that he is focused on getting things done for Americans.

The contentious topic came as a newly elected Michigan Democratic congresswoman ignited a furor on Capitol Hill with a profanity-laden pledge to work to impeach Trump.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib exclaimed at an event late Thursday that Democrats were going to “impeach the mother(expletive).”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that impeachment is not a priority for her new Democratic majority, but she faces pressure from the left flank to more aggressively pursue the issue.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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