Donald Trump doubles down on threat to shut government over border wall
‘I don’t care what the political ramifications are,’ Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday
US President Donald Trump vowed to press for a government shutdown to win funding for a border wall regardless of the political consequences on Tuesday, amid fears among Republican lawmakers that a shutdown before the November midterm elections could damage the party.
“I don’t care what the political ramifications are,” Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Our immigration laws and border security have been a complete and total disaster for decades, and there is no way that the Democrats will allow it to be fixed without a Government Shutdown.”
He added in another tweet that a government shutdown “is a very small price to pay”.
...Border Security is National Security, and National Security is the long-term viability of our Country. A Government Shutdown is a very small price to pay for a safe and Prosperous America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
The statements doubled down on threats he made in tweets over the weekend and at a news conference on Monday at the White House.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, influential in Republican circles, responded by branding the gambit “Trump’s Lose-the-House Strategy”.
Republicans in Congress are planning to delay a fight over the president’s border wall until after the midterms.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are sticking with their strategy of completing full-year funding bills for most agencies before the October 1 start of the next financial year.
They say they will wait until later to seek US$5 billion for the wall on the US-Mexico border.
The two leaders met with Trump last Wednesday and later said the president was on board with their plan – leaving aides to wonder why Trump appears to be contradicting that strategy.