Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Trump threatens government shutdown if Mexico wall does not get funding

Trump threatens government shutdown if Mexico wall does not get funding

Chuck Schumer, the senior Democrat in the still Republican-dominated Senate, and Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to become speaker in the newly Democrat-controlled House in January, bluntly told Trump that he had no chance of getting the $5 billion he wants for the wall.

MSNBC and CNN anchors were effusive in their praise of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) following the televised meeting she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) had in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump about border security, calling her a "boss" and one of the "greatest politicians of all time".

Hoyer and other Democrats said Republicans should approve six of the remaining seven appropriations bills needed to keep the government open, and pass a separate measure covering the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through September 30.

Trump's comments have made it hard for Republican leaders to negotiate even as they try to avoid a shutdown that neither party wants. "I will shut down the government", the president said.

During his bid for the presidency and for some time after winning it, Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall. I think the Oval Office is an evidence-free zone.

But Pelosi's performance in the meeting stands to improve her chances of winning support among fellow Democrats, and her remarks to colleagues sought to highlight how she believed she and Schumer had won the upper political hand.

Members of a caravan of Central American asylum seekers scale a wall at the US-Mexico border.

Pelosi also said she prays Trump will "resist" a government shutdown.

"When you have walls, Chuck, it's effective, when you don't it's not", Mr Trump retorted.

"Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple", Schumer says.

"We got Scotch tape, the clear kind", one analyst recalled to the publication.

But Trump, whose US-Mexico wall idea was at the center of his surprise 2016 election, could not control his irritation.

But Democrats showed they are comfortable, as Pelosi often says, standing their ground "like a rock" - even if the day of name-calling and rancour provided a curtain raiser for the new Congress. Democrats seemed to indicate they know what they're in for and may emerge tarnished.

During the White House meeting, Pelosi and Schumer, a New York Democrat, referenced the possible government freeze as a "Trump shutdown".

Yesterday's meeting, the first in more than a year between Mr Trump and the Democratic leaders, was touted as his last chance to secure funding...

"It's not bad, Nancy - it's called transparency", Trump said. "They have to put the people ahead of politics", he says, as brief clips are shown of a chaotic scene, apparently on the Mexican side of the United States border as migrants try to cross.

It was unclear how Trump would try to use the US Department of Defense to build the wall, given that defence and military construction appropriation bills were signed into law for the 2019 fiscal year without any wall funding.

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