President Donald Trump pressured Democrats to fund his wall or grapple with a shut down of the border on Monday morning as he revived his immigration demands, despite a former president’s passing.
‘We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall. Either way, people will NOT be allowed into our Country illegally! We will close the entire Southern Border if necessary. Also, STOP THE DRUGS!’ the president said.
Many federal agencies will run out of money on Friday at midnight, unless Congress and the White House agree on a path forward.
Senate Democrats have offered the president two paths forward — $1.6 billion that he can spend on fencing or a continuing resolution for Homeland Security that would keep the government open.
The president is seeking billions of dollars for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
House Democrats are in no mood to be generous since they’ll take over control of the chamber in January.
In the Senate, where spending bills require the assent of 60 lawmakers in order to move forward, Democrats are in wait-and-see mode.
Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer dared Trump on Thursday to ‘throw a temper tantrum and shut down some departments and agencies over Christmas.’
But the president has said he’s more than willing to let funding for his cabinet agencies expire, calling it a political winner for the GOP.
‘We need border security in this country, and if that means a shutdown I would totally be willing to shut it down,’ he said Wednesday. ‘And I think it’s a really bad issue for the Democrats.’
He has also said he’s open to the idea of abandoning efforts to get Congress to establish a dedicated funding stream for wall construction, and instead using the military to build it.
Internal discussions inside the White House have focused on tasking the Army Corps of Engineers, using an already burgeoning Pentagon budget.
Some legal opinions hold that the president would have to go through Congress to requthorize the funds. Others suggest the Defense Department could invoke national security exemptions and move ahead on its own.