WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said Monday he would have â€śno problemâ€ť shutting down the federal government this year if Congress doesnâ€™t agree to provide additional border security funding.
Trumpâ€™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 â€śred lineâ€ť for what must be approved, and he made no comment on timing - before or after the election.
â€śI would have no problem doing a shutdown,â€ť Trump said during a joint press conference at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. â€śItâ€™s time we had border security.â€ť
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 wonâ€™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: â€śThe presidentâ€™s willing to be patient to make sure that we get what we need so that we can get that done.â€ť He added that money for the wall was â€śnot a question of if, itâ€™s a question of when.â€ť
The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment on what may have changed since the meeting.