Trump Touts Border Wall As Shutdown Enters Third Week
By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter
January 5, 2019
As the partial federal government shutdown entered its third week on Saturday, President Donald Trump continued to demand $5.6 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and blamed Democrats for a lack of action.
Trump continued to make his case for the wall on Twitter, saying Democrats could solve the shutdown in a "very short period of time."
"All they have to do is approve REAL Border Security (including a Wall), something which everyone, other than drug dealers, human traffickers and criminals, want very badly! This would be so easy to do!" Trump wrote on Twitter early Saturday.
The Democrats could solve the Shutdown problem in a very short period of time. All they have to do is approve REAL Border Security (including a Wall), something which everyone, other than drug dealers, human traffickers and criminals, want very badly! This would be so easy to do!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2019
Some of the services that may be disrupted include food stamps for 38 million low-income Americans and more than $140 billion in tax refunds. The IRS will still be accepting tax returns, but refunds may be delayed if the shutdown continues into February.
During a meeting with Congressional leaders on Friday, Trump threatened to keep the government shut down for months, or even years if that's what it took to get the money for his wall along the border. Later, at a press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump floated the possibility of declaring a national emergency to secure the border wall funding "for the security of our country."
House and Senate leaders are scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. Saturday to continue negotiations to end the shutdown, which is poised to become one of the longest in history. The House and Senate both adjourned on Friday and aren't scheduled to return to Washington D.C. until Tuesday afternoon at the latest. That means the earliest the government could potentially re-open is Wednesday.
Two Senate Republicans have broken with Trump, calling for a clean bill to vote on. Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner and Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins have both called for an end to the shutdown
The House passed a series of measures Thursday evening that would have reopened the government, but did not include funding for the border wall. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the legislation as "political theater" saying he didn't plan on bringing it to the floor for a vote because Trump wouldn't sign it.
The shutdown began Dec. 22 after Trump told congressional leaders he would not sign a bill that did not include funding for his wall.
Around 800,000 federal employees have been put on unpaid leave or asked to work without pay since the shutdown began.
Photo: Getty Images