Donald Trump threatens government shutdown if he doesn't get wall funding

30 July, 2018, 00:26 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Donald Trump threatens government shutdown if he doesn't get wall funding

Trump tweeted. "Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country".

Trump's tweet Sunday comes two days after the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, said in a home-state radio interview that a shutdown wasn't going to happen. By tying the issue to funding the whole of government, which must be agreed by September 30, he risks a political showdown just ahead of November's crucial midterm elections.

Congress has given the president some wall funding but not as much as he has requested.

Mr Trump has endured a series of setbacks in his efforts to tighten the USA immigration system and deliver on his election pledge to build a wall along the southern border. In addition, he wants to end the practice of releasing immigrants caught entering the country illegally on the condition that they show up for court hearings. This has led Trump to demand that USA taxpayers fund construction of the wall, claiming he would recoup the money from Mexico through other means. A funding fight also could prove a distraction from Republican efforts in the Senate to confirm Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by October 1. The House is now in a five-week recess, returning after Labor Day.

Three months later, Trump has publicly returned to this line of thinking. The president signaled in the White House meeting that he was on board with McConnell and Ryan's strategy to fund the government smoothly through "minibusses", or smaller packages of spending bills that had been moving through the House and Senate, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

Trump would be taking a political risk if he does, in fact, allow most government functions to lapse on October 1 - the first day of the new budget year - roughly a month before the November 6 elections, when Republican control of both the House and Senate is at stake.

A new House Homeland Security Appropriations bill would devote $5 billion to a southern border wall, however its passage in the Senate, where it would need the support of ten Democrats, remains a longshot.


In May, Trump suggested "closing up the country for a while" if he did not get his wall. But they have the strength to derail legislation in the closely divided Senate.

Video: The Washington Post's Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and David Nakamura explain why President Trump still pledges to build a wall on the USA southern border.

Trump faced immediate words of caution from top Republicans, including Rep. Steve Stivers of OH, who leads the National Republican Congressional Committee, which coordinates campaign efforts for House Republican candidates. Kirsten Gillibrand and NY gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, have called for the abolishment of ICE.

The Republican president has made tougher immigration laws a centerpiece of his administration, from the first ill-fated travel ban on people from predominantly Muslim nations to the current battle raging over the separation of illegal immigrant children from their parents at the U.S. -Mexico border.

The border wall funding has also been tied to a green card giveaway for at least 200,000 Indian nationals who are in the US on guest worker visas, Breitbart News reported, along with a tripling of the number of H-2B visa workers who let into the country and allowed to take USA blue collar jobs and an expansion of the H-2A visa program, which would deliver more cheap foreign workers to farms across the country. A federal judge had ordered the reunions to be completed by last Thursday but hundreds of children remain separated.

"Please understand, there are consequences when people cross our Border illegally, whether they have children or not - and many are just using children for their own sinister purposes, " Trump said.

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