President Donald Trump said Friday that the government would shutdown over the holidays if he doesn’t get his border wall funding in a series of warning to Senate Democrats.
‘Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!’ he said in a tweet.
House Republicans delivered the $5 billion that Trump demanded for his border wall on Thursday night but the measure was doomed on arrival in the Senate, making a government shutdown almost inevitable.
Republicans control 51 seats in the upper chamber, and need nine Democrats to side with them, based on long-standing rules for Senate’s behavior.
Trump told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to throw them out and pass his border wall funding with a simple majority this morning as the nation started down a holiday shut down.
‘Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you!’ he said.
President Donald Trump said Friday that the government would shutdown over the holidays if he doesn’t get his border wall funding in a series of warning to Senate Democrats
Trump told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to throw the Senate rules out and pass his border wall funding with a simple majority this morning as the nation started down a holiday shut down
McConnell has refused to change the Senate rules for two years, though, just to satisfy the president’s legislative demands.
The Senate will convene at 12 pm on Friday for a session that McConnell will kick off with remarks. Senators wishing to speak after him will have 10 minutes each to do so. A vote could come later in the day.
If the Senate votes down the House bill that has the border wall funding, the president said on Friday morning that he would let the government shutdown rather than sign a Senate-passed measure that does not fund his wall but keeps the government open until Feb. 8.
His spokeswoman said Thursday evening that he wouldn’t depart today for Palm Beach, as previously planned, for his Christmas holiday in the event of a shutdown.
Other than his nixing his own holiday, it wasn’t clear what the president planned to do if there was a shutdown or how long he would let one continue.
The House vote was a symbolic victory for the president and his last chance to get the money he needs before Democrats take control of the House next year.
But the victory is bittersweet.
While it passed the House, both sides have acknowledged it’s dead-on-arrival in the Senate ahead of Friday’s deadline to avert a partial government shutdown.
And the lack of next steps has increased the odds that deadline won’t be met.
‘Everyone knows it can’t pass the Senate. It’s a cynical attempt, a cynical attempt to just hurt innocent people and do just what President Trump wants,’ Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday night of the House measure.
The president needs 60 votes to move his border wall funding through the upper chamber, which means he needs 11 Democrats to vote in favor of his signature campaign promise.
Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi slammed the move
Trump’s border wall was funded with a 217-185 vote
Democrats have vowed not to vote for it.
‘The Trump temper tantrum may produce a government shutdown. It will not get him his wall,’ Schumer said.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will bring up the House measure for a vote in the Senate on Friday.
Trump tweeted on Thursday night: ‘Thank you to our GREAT Republican Members of Congress for your VOTE to fund Border Security and the Wall. The final numbers were 217-185 and many have said that the enthusiasm was greater than they have ever seen before. So proud of you all. Now on to the Senate!’
He later added: Soon to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, last week live from the Oval Office, that the Republicans didn’t have the votes for Border Security. Today the House Republicans voted and won, 217-185. Nancy does not have to apologize. All I want is GREAT BORDER SECURITY!’
After its expected failure, the next steps are unclear.
One option is for the House to pass the continued resolution funding the government the Senate passed Wednesday, which would keep the government open but not fund Trump’s wall.
The president has said he will not sign that measure.
Trump has tried to turn the blame to Democrats with an accusation of playing games and politics when it comes to border security.
Trump tweeted on Thursday night: ‘Thank you to our GREAT Republican Members of Congress for your VOTE to fund Border Security and the Wall’
Democrats shot back.
‘Maybe he thinks if government shut down, he can golf more comfortably. That’s not how it works. Government must work even if you’re golfing for two weeks,’ House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday night, referring to the president’s plans to spend the holidays at Mar-a-Lago.
White House officials said Trump would not leave Washington D.C. if the government shuts down.
Trump said Democrats were playing politics with border security.
‘The fact is we need the wall. The Democrats know it. Everybody knows it. It’s only a game when they say you don’t need the wall,’ Trump said in a pre-recorded video that was posted on his @RealDonaldTrump account Thursday evening.
‘You can look at their eyes and you can say ‘well they’re not telling the truth.’ They want to try to do anything possible to hurt us because it’s politics,’ he added.
‘We’re going to build a wall,’ he noted. ‘Watch what happens.’
President Trump posted a video to Twitter to rail against Democrats for not supporting his wall
The president accused Democrats of playing games in a video that was recorded on Wednesday but posted to his Twitter account on Thursday
Trump sent GOP leaders back to Capitol Hill to scrounge up votes for his border wall on Thursday afternoon after they tried to drop it from a must-pass spending bill.
They passed their first test when a procedural vote passed 221-179, setting up the successful final vote later Thursday evening.
Republicans came out to support the continued resolution to fund the government that contained $5 billion for physical barrier construction, $700 million for border security, and $7.8 billion in supplemental funding for disaster relief.
But the president’s pressure campaign on House Democrats may be futile given the zero odds of it passing in the Senate.
A measure that would keep the government open has already passed the upper chamber – only it doesn’t contain funding for Trump’s border wall. GOP leaders, including the House speaker and Senate majority leader, were under the impression that Trump would sign it.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said of the miscommunication later that the misunderstanding was on them.
‘Anybody that didn’t know that the president wanted border security in any funding bill simply hasn’t been paying attention,’ she said during a gaggle with reporters outside the White House amid a downpour.
But Schumer and Pelosi said they’d work to pass the original funding measure the Senate approved on Wednesday – that doesn’t contain the $5 billion in wall funding – ahead of Friday night’s deadline to stave off a partial government shutdown.
Trump is putting his foot down, however, and refusing to consider a bill that doesn’t give the wall funding to him.
‘I’ve made my position very clear. Any measure that funds the government has to include border security. Has to. Not for political purposes, ‘ he argued during an unrelated bill signing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex on Thursday, ‘for our country, for the safety, for our community.’
President Donald Trump sent GOP leaders back to Capitol Hill to scrounge up votes for his border wall on Thursday afternoon after they tried to drop it from a must-pass spending bill
Ivanka Trump, daughter and assistant to President Donald Trump, talks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a bill signing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Trump announced to an audience that included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that is not backing down from his border wall as Republican lawmakers grumbled that the president was picking a fight he could not win.
And the clocking is ticking toward Friday’s deadline for a partial government shut down.
Trump stood firm at an agricultural event, where he strayed from the topic at hand to explain his current thinking on a spending deal and the border wall.
The president said the U.S. government is spending $275 billion on border security a year, increasing an amount in that has repeatedly debunked as substantially higher than reality.
‘I am asking Congress to defend the border of our nation, for a tiny fraction, tiny fraction of the cost,’ he said. ‘Walls work, whether we like it or not. They work better than anything,’ he contended.
The president insisted that a bipartisan bill that does what he wants could pass and must pass as a matter of national security, even as GOP legislators told reporters that it couldn’t and wouldn’t.
‘This is not merely my campaign promise, this the promise every lawmaker made. It is the solemn promise to protect and defend the United States of America, and it is our sacred obligation,’ Trump said of border security. ‘We have no choice.’
A government shutdown over the Christmas holiday was back on the table after President Trump told House Republican leaders a few hours prior that he would not sign a bill to keep parts of the government open beyond Friday because it does not include funding for his border wall.
Speaker Paul Ryan emerged from a meeting with Donald Trump at the White House to announce that he was going back to the drawing board after a presidential brow-beating that lasted more than an hour.
Ryan and the GOP’s second-in-command, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, told reporters awaiting an update that Trump ‘informed us that he will not sign the bill’ that passed in the Senate late Wednesday evening ‘because of his legitimate concerns for border security.’
‘We want to keep the government open, but we also want to see an agreement that protects the border,’ the outgoing Republican congressman said. ‘We have very serious concerns about securing our border.’
McCarthy, who will replace Ryan as the top Republican in the House next year, cheerfully noted, ‘We believe there’s still time.’
‘The president said what the Senate sent over is just kicking the ball, just kicking the can down the road,’ he explained. ‘We want to solve this problem we want to make sure we keep the government open, and we’re gonna work to have that done and have something happen.’
House Speaker Paul Ryan emerged from a meeting with Donald Trump at the White House to announce that he was going back to the drawing board after a presidential brow-beating that lasted more than an hour
Kevin McCarthy, who will replace Ryan as the top Republican in the House next year, cheerfully noted, ‘We believe there’s still time.’ The announcement had observers scratching their heads
ONLY 11 MORE DAYS TO GO: Ryan burst into laughter as he walked away from reporters telling him he doesn’t have the votes for a spending deal that includes a border wall
Ryan is seen above arriving at the White House for crisis talks with Trump on Thursday
The GOP leaders left without answering a cacophony of questions about how it planned to wrangle enough legislators for a vote with many lawmakers out of town.
An average of 40 lawmakers had missed votes on Wednesday afternoon as many lame-duck legislators have avoided Capitol Hill in the wake of their losses on Election Day.
Republican Whip Steve Scalise and McCarthy declined to answer multiple questions from reporters on Capitol Hill wondering whether the GOP has the votes for the president’s $5 billion wall, as well.
‘That sounds like a negative attitude,’ Scalise said when asked if they have the numbers.
Ryan avoided the main door of the Capitol outside of his speaker’s office upon his return from the White House.
Scalise said the House will add the $5 billion it will take to build Trump’s wall to the government funding bill the Senate sent the lower chamber on Wednesday night.
He also said disaster relief funds will be added to the package, perhaps in a move to sweeten the deal and help get the party votes.
Democrats have made it clear they will not support the $5 billion in funding for the wall.
The ball is now in House Republicans’ court, and they’ll spent Thursday afternoon frantically whipping their party to see if the votes are there to meet the president’s demand.
Lawmakers have been warned multiple votes are expected in the House and to watch the schedule for changes.
The president’s spokeswoman reiterated Trump’s demand for a border security provision that allows him to build a wall.
‘President Trump just met with Republican Members of the House. Not surprisingly, they all feel strongly about Border Security – stopping the flow of drugs, stopping human trafficking, and stopping terrorism. We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation. We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall,’ Sarah Sanders said.
A shutdown appeared to go from unlikely to unavoidable after a wild day of tweets from the president, who decided to go to the mat for his border wall at the eleventh hour.
Trump blasted GOP leaders in a tweet after a phone conversation with Ryan, who had previously promised him he would fight for the wall after the mid-term elections.
‘When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership. Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries – but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!’ Trump said.
Prior to the meeting, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump is still weighing his options.
‘The President is having a meeting with Republican House Members at noon today. At this moment, the President does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall. The President is continuing to weigh his options,’ she said.
Trump called the House speaker during a closed-door caucus meeting and suggested he wouldn’t sign a must-pass spending bill if it doesn’t fund his border wall.
The White House had not taken a formal position on the bill that would delay the border wall battle until Feb. 8 at that point.
President Donald Trump threw a vote to keep the government open into jeopardy on Thursday as he called the House speaker during a closed-door caucus meeting and suggested in tweets that he wouldn’t sign a must-pass spending bill if it doesn’t fund his border wall
Trump blasted GOP leaders in a tweet after a phone conversation with Paul Ryan, who had previously promised him he would fight for the wall after the mid-term elections
The president sparked panic early in the morning when he said he would not sign ‘any’ legislation that does not have ‘perfect border security’ hours after the U.S. Senate passed a stop-gap spending bill that does not include money for a border wall
The president sparked panic early in the morning when he said he would not sign ‘any’ legislation that does not have ‘perfect border security’ hours after the U.S. Senate passed a stop-gap spending bill that does not include money for a border wall.
The bill awaits a vote in the House, where last-minute negotiations were taking place to drive up the whip count. Disaster aid and wall funding were among the propositions that were being floated in the lower chamber as add-ons.
Conservatives were digging in and saying they wouldn’t pass a bill, unless it includes an appropriation for the border barrier.
If the bill doesn’t pass or the president declines to sign it, parts of the government will close early Saturday.
Trump first suggested that he could oppose the legislation, because it doesn’t fund the wall, in a morning tweet.
‘The Democrats, who know Steel Slats (Wall) are necessary for Border Security, are putting politics over Country,’ he said. ‘What they are just beginning to realize is that I will not sign any of their legislation, including infrastructure, unless it has perfect Border Security. U.S.A. WINS!’
At a closed-door caucus meeting Ryan insisted that Trump would sign the bill, a Republican congressman said, only to receive a call from the president mid-way through that upended the process.
It was not immediately known what was said on the call, but it caused chaos on Capitol Hill, where Ryan was about to host his final press conference as a GOP leader.
Ryan abruptly cancelled his news conference minutes later after Trump smacked GOP leaders in a tweet.
Nancy Pelosi, the current Democratic leader and expected House Speaker come January, called the situation a ‘meltdown’ as she spoke from the podium at her news conference.
‘Republicans are in a state of disarray,’ she said of the ‘breakdown’ among the ruling party.
Pelosi said her members would vote for a continuing resolution to keep the government open but would not support a bill that allows the president to build a wall.
‘I think we’ve made that clear. We’ll see what they come up with,’ she said. ‘But in terms of wall funding, that’s a non-starter. I think they know that.’
Trump suggested in his first tweet of the day that he could sign the short-term spending bill now and refuse to sign any legislation in 2019 that doesn’t fund the wall, including a bipartisan infrastructure package both parties hope to pass.
Pelosi told reporters she thinks the president is unlikely to follow through on that threat. ‘I believe the president wants to do an infrastructure bill. I don’t know that he’ll throw a tantrum over it when he sees what the bill might be,’ she said.
Trump suggested that he could oppose a bill to keep the government open because it doesn’t fund the wall in a morning tweet
His mixed signal followed the White House’s public announcement that would accept less than $5 billion in funding for his border wall this fiscal year amid negotiations to keep the government open
His mixed signals on what he would and wouldn’t be willing to approve followed the White House’s public announcement this week that it would be willing to accept less than $5 billion in funding for his border wall this fiscal year amid negotiations to keep the government open.
The vice president reportedly told senators during a Wednesday luncheon that Trump would sign the continuing resolution, staving off a shutdown just in time for the billionaire president to jet down to his private club in Palm Beach for his annual Christmastime visit.
The GOP’s top vote counter, John Cornyn, told CNN that Mike Pence affirmed at a closed-press meeting that Trump would sign the bill that punts the debate over his border wall to next year.
Sen. Bill Cassidy revealed on Fox News on Thursday, ‘The White House was in room when the deal was originally crafted.’
That bill passed in the Senate by voice vote with a boost from Democrats and had the support of Pelosi, the top-ranking Democrat in Congress, in the House of Representatives.
Conservatives in the lower chamber were urging Trump not to back down, however, from his request for funds for the border wall.
House Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan said that this could be Trump’s last chance to fulfill his most memorable campaign promise.
‘Pelosi’s going to be speaker,’ he said on Fox News of the January takeover of Congress by Democrats. ‘It’s never going to happen.’
The conservative group’s head, Rep. Mark Meadows, who Trump recently turned down to be his chief of staff, said the group believes the president is getting ‘bad advice’ on how to play the spending fight.
‘They know that he’s promised not once, not twice but three different times that he would get border wall funding, and here we are about to punt,’ Meadows told reporters on Capitol Hill, suggesting that Trump had been played by GOP leaders like Ryan.
Ryan told members of his caucus at a closed-door meeting on Thursday morning that he expects the spending bill to pass, CNN reported.
New York Republican Chris Collins told reporters outside the meeting that Ryan also committed Trump to signing the legislation.
Trump apparently called Ryan minutes later and told him the agreement was off.
It remained unclear at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Thursday afternoon what the president would do as he brought Ryan and other Republican leaders to the White House to hash the issue out.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has been hammering Trump on foreign policy moves this week, said on Fox News that the president should refuse to sign a bill that doesn’t include funding for his border wall.
‘If I were him I’d stand firm,’ he said. ‘That’s a fight worth having.’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (seen on Capitol Hill Wednesday) said the measure will fund normal government operations at current levels through February 8 – bringing Washington a step closer to avoiding a potentially crippling closure of some federal offices over Christmas
Trump said the new trade deal means Mexico will pay for his wall
Earlier in the week, the White House denied that Trump was mulling a short-term spending bill that doesn’t fund his wall, but as a shutdown loomed the president’s spokeswoman indicated that Trump would sign whatever the Senate sends him.
Sanders said Tuesday that Trump has also tasked every Cabinet secretary to look through agency funds to see what if anything they can redirect to the border wall.
‘We are looking to those individuals to find out those specific pots of money that can be used for that,’ she said at a briefing on Tuesday.
Trump has claimed he could tap the military or use money that’s reaped from his new trade accord.
‘Mexico is paying (indirectly) for the Wall through the new USMCA, the replacement for NAFTA! Far more money coming to the U.S. Because of the tremendous dangers at the Border, including large scale criminal and drug inflow, the United States Military will build the Wall!’ he tweeted.
There is nothing in the trade agreement that requires Mexico to pay for the wall. The administration is making a more nuanced argument that taxpayers and businesses will be saving money on goods and services that they will inject back into the U.S. economy.
‘The President has been clear that the USMCA deal would provide additional revenue through that deal that would show that Mexico was paying for the wall,’ Sanders said.
Rep. Mark Meadows, head of the House Freedom Caucus, says the president is getting ‘bad advice’ on how to play the spending fight
She added: ‘He’s saying that the revenue provided and the money that would be saved through the USMCA deal, we could pay for the wall four times over. And by doing that new trade deal, we have the opportunity to pay for the wall.’
There’s no direct line of revenue from the agreement to the U.S. Treasury. Tax revenue generated by the trade provisions would not come from Mexico but from U.S. taxpayers and corporations.
Trump previously has threatened to use the military if Democrats wouldn’t fully fund his border wall. As commander-in-chief he can issue orders to the troops.
But Congressional Democrats have warned that the Pentagon does not have the power to redirect funding from other projects.
The U.S. Constitution requires Congressional approval before money can be allocated and spent.
Trump vowed on Wednesday he ‘will win on the wall’ after the White House signaled it was ditching its demand for $5 billion in funding for his signature issue.
‘One way or the other, we will win on the Wall!,’ Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning as the clock ticked toward Friday’s partial government shutdown.
Trump’s tweet didn’t offer any specifics on what he was looking for in a win and whether he’d want the money appropriated in any stop-gap measure or would be willing to wait and take up the fight again in the new year.
An earlier tweeted suggested he had more thoughts to come with he wrote: ‘In our Country, so much money has been poured down the drain, for so many years, but the Democrats fight us like cats and dogs when it comes to spending on Boarder Security (including a Wall) and the Military. We won on the Military, it is being completely rebuilt. We will win…’
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration’s legal team was looking into whether the White House could redirect funds to build the border wall
Trump is vowing to fight for his wall – but no one knows whether he will use a must-pass spending bill to throw down the guantlet
It’s estimated it would cost $5 billion to build the president’s border wall
He deleted that tweet and, six minutes later, offered a more succinct tweet: ‘In our Country, so much money has been poured down the drain, for so many years, but when it comes to Border Security and the Military, the Democrats fight to the death. We won on the Military, which is being completely rebuilt. One way or the other, we will win on the Wall!’
Lawmakers are scheduled to leave town on Friday and Trump is looking to go Mar-a-Lago for the holidays.
The White House signaled it would be willing to accept less than $5 billion that Trump has been demanding for his wall on Tuesday, amid panic over another ill-timed shutdown.
‘We will work with Congress if they will make sure we get a bill passed that provides not just the funding for the wall, but there’s a piece of legislation that’s been pushed around that Democrats actually voted 26-5 out of committee that provides roughly $26 billion for border security including $1.6 billion for the wall,’ Sanders told Fox News. ‘That’s something that we would be able to support as long as we can couple that with other funding resources.’
The president on Tuesday sidestepped a question on whether he was still willing to shut down the government unless Congress give him the $5 billion.
‘We’ll see what happens. It’s too early to say,’ he stated. ‘We need border security.’
The White House kicked the can down Pennsylvania Avenue to Congress on Tuesday.
‘You know, at this point, the Senate has thrown out a lot of ideas. We’re disappointed in the fact that they’ve yet to actually vote on something and pass something,’ Sanders said at the White House press briefing. ‘So when they do that, we’ll make a determination on whether or not we’re going to sign that.’
Most areas of the federal government have already been funded through other appropriations bills. Roughly 25 percent of agencies are operating off of a Continuing Resolution that will technically expire early Saturday morning.
Some 420,000 federal workers, including most law enforcement, would be deemed essential in the course of a shutdown and required to remain on the job. They would receive back pay in the event of a partial government closure, CNN reports.
All other workers would be considered non-essential and sent home on an unpaid leave of absence. They number about 380,000. Congress typically gives them back pay for days missed, costing the government time and money for work that wasn’t actually done.
It can take weeks for the money to arrive, especially if the shutdown lasts until Democrats take control of the House the first few days in January, putting a financial squeeze on families over the Christmas holiday.
The Departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, State, Interior, Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce and Justice would be affected.