President Trump renews government shutdown threat if no border wall funding

Larry Hoffman
July 31, 2018

President Donald Trump threatened Sunday to push the government into a shutdown ahead of the coming spending deadline in September if Congress does not fund his border wall and change the nation's immigration laws.

The majority Democratic San Diego City Council, in a 3 to 1 vote last week, directed city officials to draft an ordinance requiring contractors competing for city projects to disclose any past and present work, as well as planned bids, on parts of Trump's planned border wall.

"I would certainly be willing to consider a shutdown if we don't get proper border security", Trump said at a news conference alongside Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whom Trump praised for taking similar hard-line positions on immigration.

The American President made a reference to his administration's proposed merit-based immigration system, which would assign points to potential migrants on factors such as age, education, fluency in English, willingness to invest capital in the United States, etc.

"We agreed that border security is national security - they are one and the same", the United States president said after their Oval Office meeting. 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. "You know, I think we're going to make sure we keep the government open, but we're going to get better policies on immigration".

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Spending bills have appropriated funds to replace existing walls or barriers, something Trump has tried to promote to his supporters as signs of progress.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), who has worked smoothly with the committee's top Democrat, Sen.

"We're going to have a challenging mid-term anyway, and I don't see how putting the attention on shutting down the government when you control the government is going to help you", Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, said in an interview.

No one in Congress or his administration is calling for such a large number of immigration judges to be added to the system, though politicians and advocates of many different political stripes have said that adding some immigration judges will ease the the lengthy backlog of current cases.

Trump also doubled-down Sunday on defending his administration's tough immigration enforcement policies amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the since-scrapped zero tolerance policy that separated illegal immigrant children from their parents at the border.

And that promise is to build a wall on America's southern border with Mexico. They do, however, have the strength to derail legislation in the closely divided Senate.

The $5 billion is well above the $1.6 billion in the Senate version of the bill, which would finance the Homeland Security Department. He predicted a shutdown wouldn't happen and also said the border wall wouldn't get funded before the midterms. "I would meet with Iran if they wanted to meet", he said.

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