President Trump said this week he would “totally be willing” to shut down the government if Congress does not approve at least $5 billion for his wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a year-end spending deal.
Congress is facing a Dec. 7 deadline to pass legislation funding the Homeland Security Department, the State Department and other federal agencies. Senate Democrats have said they would approve $1.6 billion for the wall, putting them at odds with House Republicans and the White House. Trump signaled in an interview with POLITICO this week that he is not open to a compromise on immigration that might clear up the legal status of so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
Trump told POLITICO that the border wall is a “total winner” for him politically that would blow back on the Democrats if they oppose funding.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said this week that Senate and House negotiators could reach a deal on government funding if the president did not interfere. Schumer also said that the Trump administration has yet to spend “a penny” of the $1.3 billion Congress appropriated for border security in fiscal 2018, which ended on Sept. 30.