Trump Threatens Government Shutdown Over Border Wall: ‘This Would Be A Very Good Time To Do A Shutdown’

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing the White House for California.
Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool / Getty Images

President Donald Trump is threatening government shutdown, again. Speaking to reporters outside the White House Saturday, Trump said that “this would be a very good time” for a government shutdown if Congress refuses to to fund his border wall, CNN reports.

“I think probably, if I was ever going to do a shutdown over border security, when you look at the caravans, when you look at the mess, when you look at the people coming in, this would be a very good time to do a shutdown.”

Today is not the first time that Trump has threatened a government shutdown over Congress’ refusal to fund his border wall. In September, Trump did the same, but Congress managed to avert a crisis by passing a massive spending bill. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation by a strong 361 to 61 margin, according to Reuters. The bill included $675 billion to fund the Department of Defense, and another $180 billion for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Departments.

Passed just weeks before the midterms, the spending bill includes a measure to keep the federal government open until at least December 7. The September legislation fulfilled the president’s desire for more government spending, so he backed away from demanding funding for his border wall, and vowed to pressure Congress again after the midterms. He is now, so it seems, delivering on that promise.

Last month, CNN notes, Paul Ryan predicted a “big fight” over immigration and border security, and other members of the Republican Party have backed the House speaker. Ryan’s comments followed Trump’s announcement that he would be looking for an additional $5 billion to spend on his border wall.

President Trump’s threats of government shutdown are not exclusively about the wall, however. They appear to be a continuation of his administration’s relentless immigration hardlining, since the president is also requesting that the 5,900 troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border stay there past the scheduled end of their mission.

The troops, Trump said, will stay at the border “as long as necessary.”

Apart from requesting more money to fund border security, the president praised the “tremendous military force” deployed to the border.

“They built great fences. They built a very powerful fence, a different kind of a fence, but very powerful. The fence is fully manned,” he said.

A senior administration official described Trump’s deployment of troops to the border as a “total joke,” and a “waste of time.”

Although adamant to get funding for his border wall, Trump added that he hopes there will be no need for a government shutdown, and that he hopes the Democrats will “come to their senses.”