Hours after being sworn in as Nevada's newest U.S. Senator, Democrat Jacky Rosen says Congress needs to act quickly to end a government shutdown.
Speaking by phone from Washington on Thursday, Rosen told reporters that she was "incredibly humbled" to be sworn into office but that the ceremony was overshadowed by the current budget impasse that has shuttered parts of the federal government.
"There's a lot of hard work ahead of us, and that starts with ending this senseless and avoidable government shutdown," Rosen said.
The shutdown, which is the result of a breakdown in negotiations over funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall, is quickly approaching a third week.
While the Senator did not directly answer a question about whether she'd vote for a plan to fund the wall, she did criticize the president for continuing to push the idea. She says lawmakers need to look at other opportunities to improve border security.
"I think the president, unfortunately, is a little hung up on the idea [of] this giant wall. Maybe he believes it plays well on television," said the senator. "We need smart technology. We need drones. We need to use other kinds of things to protect our borders, secure our borders. Really, what this signals is that we need to have comprehensive immigration reform, one that does address these issues and allows people to come into our country."
Despite calls to end the shutdown, Republican leaders have voiced concerns that budget negotiations have stalled leaving thousands of federal employees in Nevada without a paycheck.