Posted on December 3, 2018

Trump Warns Democrats He’ll ‘Close the Entire Southern Border’ If They Don’t Fund His Walls

Francesca Chambers, Daily Mail, December 3, 2018

Trump warns Democrats he’ll ‘close the entire Southern Border’ if they don’t fund his wall as he signals Bush’s death won’t get in the way of his immigration demands

Francesca Chambers, Daily Mail, December 3, 2018

President Donald Trump pressured Democrats to fund his wall or grapple with a shut down of the border on Monday morning as he revived his immigration demands, despite a former president’s passing.

Trump had signaled over the weekend that he’s willing to sign a two-week federal budget extension to allow Congress to honor the life of former President George H.W. Bush without the distraction of an impending partial government shutdown.

As Bush’s body was headed to Washington to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol, the sitting president whacked Democrats and put new pressure on legislators to give him the $5 billion he needs to complete the structure.

‘We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall. Either way, people will NOT be allowed into our Country illegally! We will close the entire Southern Border if necessary. Also, STOP THE DRUGS!’ the president said.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on the way back from the G20 summit in Argentina, Trump revealed that lawmakers asked him after Bush’s death late Friday for a longer window of time to hammer out their differences.

‘If they come to me, which they already have, and they said, “You know, Mr. President”,’ Trump mused, before adding: ‘I would absolutely consider it and probably give it.’

Many federal agencies will run out of money on Friday at midnight, unless Congress and the White House agree on a path forward.

Senate Democrats have offered the president two paths forward — $1.6 billion that he can spend on fencing or a continuing resolution for Homeland Security that would keep the government open.

A partial shutdown for agencies that have not been fully-funded will take place on Dec. 7 without action. Lawmakers are considering a one-week or two-week resolution that could push the fight until four days until Christmas on Dec. 21.

The appetite for a political fight over spending was lacking in Washington with Bush set to arrive on a special air mission. He will be memorialized by Vice President Mike Pence and legislators at the U.S. Capitol on Monday afternoon.

The 41st president is set to be honored with a state funeral, a ceremony at the National Cathedral and a national day of mourning Wednesday, as well.

Trump and Congress had both been bracing for the fallout from a shutdown.

The president is seeking billions of dollars for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

House Democrats are in no mood to be generous since they’ll take over control of the chamber in January.

In the Senate, where spending bills require the assent of 60 lawmakers in order to move forward, Democrats are in wait-and-see mode.

Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer dared Trump on Thursday to ‘throw a temper tantrum and shut down some departments and agencies over Christmas.’

Questions are swirling throughout Washington about a possible ‘wall-for-DACA’ deal, where the president would agree to package $5 billion in wall funding with a plan to give legal status to more than 1 million people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Trump last year formally invalidated an Obama-era program that spared that large group of non-citizens from deportation, but court rulings have tied his hands and the temporary amnesty has continued.

Republicans fear being blamed for a future shutdown, and they are feeling pressure to finalize a budget agreement before Christmas.

The next Congress will likely convene at noon on January 3, at which point Democrats will have more negotiating power.

But the president has said he’s more than willing to let funding for his cabinet agencies expire, calling it a political winner for the GOP.

‘We need border security in this country, and if that means a shutdown I would totally be willing to shut it down,’ he said Wednesday. ‘And I think it’s a really bad issue for the Democrats.’

He has also said he’s open to the idea of abandoning efforts to get Congress to establish a dedicated funding stream for wall construction, and instead using the military to build it.

Internal discussions inside the White House have focused on tasking the Army Corps of Engineers, using an already burgeoning Pentagon budget.

Some legal opinions hold that the president would have to go through Congress to requthorize the funds. Others suggest the Defense Department could invoke national security exemptions and move ahead on its own.