President Donald Trump said Monday that he has “no problem” shutting down the government for the sake of obtaining congressional funding for better border security, including a border wall.
Trump was asked during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the White House if he would be willing to shut down the government in September if Congress does not fund $25 billion for U.S.- Mexican border wall, as well as pass legislation ending the visa lottery program and the “catch-and-release” policy for those crossing the border illegally.
“I’ll always leave room for negotiation,” Trump said.
“If we don’t get border security after many, many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown,” he added.
“It’s time we had proper border security. We’re the laughing stock of the world. We have the worst immigration laws anywhere in the world,” Trump said.
President Trump: "I would be certainly willing to consider a shutdown if we don't get proper border security."
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 30, 2018
A reporter followed up by questioning if the $25 billion level of funding is a “red line.”
The Hill reported that the House Appropriations Committee approved $5 billion for the wall in its Homeland Security bill last week, while the Senate’s version includes $1.6 billion to reinforce existing barriers.
There are currently approximately 650 miles of fencing in various forms along approximately 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border.
Around 350 miles is pedestrian fencing, usually about 15 feet tall, and 300 miles consists of vehicle barriers.
Trump said via Twitter on Sunday that he would be willing to shut down the government if Democrats do not fund border security measures, including a wall.
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
The Washington Examiner reported that Trump was not pleased in March when the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill only included $1.6 billion for “physical barriers and technology.”
Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass legislation to fund the federal government.
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