I would be willing to shut down government over immigration plans – Donald Trump
The US President’s comments came after the Senate’s top Republican said a shutdown was not going to happen.
President Donald Trump has claimed he is willing to shut down the government if Democrats refuse to vote for his immigration proposals, including building a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Mr Trump’s tweet on Sunday comes two days after the Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, said in a home-state radio interview that a shutdown was not going to happen.
I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT!” Mr Trump said.
In the Kentucky radio interview, Mr McConnell did acknowledge that the border funding issue probably would not be resolved until later this year, after the November election.
Mr Trump returned to the idea of shutting down the government over the border wall just days after meeting at the White House with Mr McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss the autumn legislative agenda.
Congress has given the president some wall funding but not as much as he has requested.
Mr Trump also wants changes to legal immigration, including scrapping a visa lottery programme. 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.
He has also demanded that the US shifts to an immigration system based more on merit and less on family ties.
Democrats and some Republicans have objected to some of the changes Trump seeks.
The federal budget year ends on September 30 and lawmakers will spend much of August in their states campaigning for re-election in November.
The House is now in a five-week recess, returning after Labor Day. The Senate remains in session and is set to take a one-week break the week of August 6, then returning for the rest of the month.
Both chambers will have short window of working days to approve a spending bill before government funding expires.
Mr 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.
House Republicans released a spending bill this month that provides five billion dollars (£3.81 billion) next year to build Mr Trump’s wall, a major boost.