Trump says he might shut government if there's no deal on border security

Published on Monday, 30 July 2018 18:53

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said Monday he would have “no problem” shutting down the federal government this year if Congress doesn’t agree to provide additional border security funding.

Trump’s declaration puts him at odds with members of his own party in Congress, where many Republicans are facing tough re-election fights this November. Government funding expires at the end of September, just weeks before the midterm elections.

A shutdown would be the second under unified Republican control of Washington, following an embarrassing weekend stoppage in January.

Asked about specific requirements, Trump said he had no “red line” for what must be approved, and he made no comment on timing - before or after the election.

“I would have no problem doing a shutdown,” Trump said during a joint press conference at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. “It’s time we had border security.”

Trump returned to the idea after a meeting at the White House last week with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., where they were said to have agreed on the way forward on government funding for the budget year that starts Oct. 1.

McConnell told a radio interviewer last week that a shutdown so close to the Nov. 6 midterm elections won’t happen. McConnell acknowledged, however, that the border funding issue in particular was unlikely to be resolved before the balloting.

Ryan said on Capitol Hill after the meeting: “The president’s willing to be patient to make sure that we get what we need so that we can get that done.” He added that money for the wall was “not a question of if, it’s a question of when.”

The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment on what may have changed since the meeting.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Nation-World on Monday, 30 July 2018 18:53. Updated: Monday, 30 July 2018 18:56.