Donald Trump threatens US govt shutdown over Mexico wall, border security issues a month before midterm elections

Donald Trump threatens US govt shutdown over Mexico wall, border security issues a month before midterm elections

Washington: Republicans anxious about keeping control of Congress think it’s a bad idea, but President Donald Trump still says he’s willing to close the government over border security issues, including money he wants to build a promised US-Mexico border wall.
“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT!”“We need great people coming into our Country!” Trump said.
File image of US president Donald Trump. APFile image of US president Donald Trump. AP
Trump returned to the idea after a meeting at the White House last week with House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, where they were said to have agreed on the way forward on government funding for the budget year that starts 1 October.McConnell told a radio interviewer last week that a shutdown so close to the 6 November midterm elections won’t happen. McConnell acknowledged, however, that the border funding issue in particular was unlikely to be resolved before the balloting.
Ryan said on Capitol Hill after the meeting: “The president’s willing to be patient to make sure that we get what we need so that we can get that done.” He added that money for the wall was “not a question of if, it’s a question of when.”
The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment on what may have changed since the meeting.
Trump has pledged to campaign aggressively, starting after Labor Day, to help Republicans retain control of the House and Senate, but GOP lawmakers don’t appear to be rallying to his side on this not-so-new idea.
Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that it would be unhelpful to shut down the government just before elections “so let’s try and avoid it.”
Trump campaigned on the promise of building a wall to deter illegal immigration and making Mexico pay for it. Mexico has refused.Trump has gotten some wall money from Congress, and likely will get more, though the total is short of the $25 billion he has requested.
He also wants changes to legal immigration, including scrapping a visa lottery program. In addition, Trump wants to end the practice of releasing immigrants caught entering the country illegally on the condition that they show up for court hearings, along with shifting the US immigration system to one based more on individual merit and less on family ties. Democrats and some Republicans have objected to those proposals.
Both chambers will have a short window to act before government funding expires at midnight on 30 September.
The House is in recess and won’t return until after Labor Day. The Senate will stay in session for most of August, except for a weeklong break scheduled to begin 6 August. McConnell canceled most of his chamber’s recess to give senators time to work on the annual spending bills.Trump would be taking a political risk if he allows most government functions to lapse on 1 October — the first day of the new budget year — roughly a month before the elections,