The White House is pushing the federal government closer to the brink of a partial shutdown later this week, digging in on its demand for $5 billion to build a border wall as congressional Democrats continue to stand firm against it.
“We’re going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall to stop this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration,” said White House senior adviser Stephen Miller. When asked if that meant having a government shutdown, he said: “If it comes to it, absolutely.”
President Trump said last week he would be “proud” to have a shutdown to get Congress to approve a $5 billion down payment to fulfill his campaign promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; however, the President doesn’t have the votes from the Republican-controlled Congress to support funding for the wall at that level.
Democratic congressional leaders, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, have proposed no more than $1.6 billion, as outlined in a bipartisan Senate bill. Schumer said Sunday that it was up to Trump to decide whether parts of the federal government shut down at midnight Friday over his border wall, sending thousands of federal employees home without pay during the holidays.
The House is taking an extended weekend break, returning Wednesday night. The Senate returned Monday after a three-day absence.