(Washington) -- Fresh off this month's general elections, Congress has returned to work for the so-called "lame duck" session.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is approving appropriations bills by December 7th in order to avoid a government shutdown. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Wednesday morning, Iowa Congressman David Young says the biggest issue facing congressional representatives toward the end of the year is border security.
"It tends to be a priority of the president," said Young. "It's something that's very, very important to me, as well, especially in light of what we've been seeing with the caravans coming up and storming the border. That's the big issue. I'm not for a government shutdown, but I certainly do think we need to get as much as we can with border security, and as much robust funding and flexibility that our border patrol agents and administration need to protect us, secure our borders."
The Van Meter Republican says the biggest sticking point is funding for the proposed wall across the U.S.-Mexican border. President Trump has threatened to allow a shutdown unless Democrats agree to allocating $5 million to build the border wall.
"That's the sweet spot we have to hit," said Young. "So, there's ongoing negotiations between the House appropriators, Senate appropriators, and the administration, as well. We hope we can find a good compromise to meet everyone's needs."
Young supports the actions of U.S. border security agents, who fired tear gas at a group of migrants who broke away from a larger caravan, and attempted to cross the border near San Ysidro, California. The congressman says the actions are necessary as part of border security efforts.
"First of all, there's a legal way to come here, as I've said, and we all say," he said, "and rushing the borders is clearly not legal. If you don't defend the border, if the border patrol agents aren't able to defend themselves, then you essentially have an open border, and anybody came come here anytime they want.
"Previous administrations have used non-lethal ways to disperse crowds at the border," Young added. "This administration has done the same with that practice. It's just very, very important. Although we feel for the plight for those in some awful circumstances who are fleeing other countries, we do have to secure our borders."
Young adds he appreciates Mexico's support of a U.S. proposal to keep asylum seekers in their country longer while legal channels are pursued. You can hear the full interview with David Young on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.