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Border Wall Funding: Trump Threatens "Very Long" US Government Shutdown

22 December, 2018, 13:55 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • A partial government shutdown would have been averted with a deal on spending

Just 10 days earlier, though, in that same Oval Office, Trump had bragged to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that he would be happy to take the responsibility for a shutdown.

"There's nothing we can do about that because we need the Democrats to give us their votes".

Trump has threatened that the government shutdown will "last a very long time" if he does not receive at least $5 billion in funding for his border wall.

McConnell, who met with President Trump Friday at the White House, said in a Senate speech that "this legislation would be quite uncontroversial in a more normal political moment".

The popular narrative is that a "scared" and "vulnerable" Trump has been pushed to a corner and caved to the demands of wingnut hard-right commentators who said he must deliver on his bedrock promise of the 2016 campaign - the border wall - or shut down the government and wing it depending on whatever happens.

But with the hours dwindling before the midnight deadline, Trump sought to reframe the debate and make Democrats the holdouts to settling an impasse that threatens hundreds of thousands of federal workers on the eve of the end-of-the-year holidays.

The House will reconvene on Saturday afternoon. But Mr. Trump rejected it, demanding that any spending bill contain US$5-billion ($6.8-billion) in funding for a wall on the border with Mexico.

Republicans conceded that one of their biggest hurdles was Trump's legendary unpredictability and proclivity for abruptly changing his mind.

"We don't want them in the United States".

Three-quarters of the government will not be affected, since budget bills funding those operations had already been approved.

By Friday morning at around 11:30 a.m. ET, a GoFundMe page titled "We The People Will Fund The Wall" passed $11 million from almost 200,000 donors.

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Trump's refusal to cave on Friday came despite indications from the White House earlier in the week that the administration had found an alternative way to get the money needed for the wall.

Talks between Trump's team and Republican and Democratic leaders were expected to continue over the weekend. Both Trump and his White House had signaled during the first part of the week that he would accept another extension, this time through February 8.

However, the bill was still highly unlikely to pass in the face of strong Democrat opposition.

Only a week ago, Mr Trump insisted during a televised meeting at the White House he would take ownership of a shutdown over his border wall.

At first, GOP leaders in the chamber struggled to muster enough support for the House plan to move forward.

The Senate has adjourned without a deal on spending, an hour after the House ended its session, guaranteeing a partial government shutdown will begin at 10 p.m. MT Friday.

Nine cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including homeland security, transportation, interior, agriculture, state and justice will be affected by the shutdown.

Meanwhile, a USA military veteran's grassroots $1bn fundraiser to erect a border wall, and "help President Trump make America safe again", has raised over $12m.

Last week, Trump made it clear that he is the one responsible if the government does shut down.

Though government activities deemed vital, like the TSA, have historically remained functioning during shutdowns, other services - like those offered by the National Park Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency - have all had their capacities limited or temporarily halted in the past.

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