Trump Insists ‘The Wall Will Pay for Itself on a Monthly Basis’

Posted December 22, 2018

The prospect of an embarrassing Christmastime shutdown of the United States government loomed Friday as President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats remained far apart on a stopgap funding bill held up by discord over money for a border wall.

One possibility Friday is that the Senate strips the border wall out of the bill but keeps the disaster funds and sends it back to the House.

On Wednesday, there appeared to be bipartisan agreement to pass temporary spending bills keeping the government running at its current funding level through 8 February, which did not include the $5bn in federal funding Trump had demanded to build his long-promised border wall with Mexico.

The bill passed the House, but with no Democratic support.

Donald Trump said "we are totally prepared for a very long shutdown".

She said she'd prefer to pass a spending bill that includes wall funding, such as the one now being considered, rather than shut down the government.

His move may have been influenced by members of the House Freedom caucus, some of whom have publicly called on the Republican president to stick to his guns on wall funding.

Trump urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to "use the Nuclear option and get it done!" in a tweet hours before parts of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, run out of funding.

If that measure is put to a vote in the Senate, Democrats there have pledged to prevent it from getting the votes it needs for passage.

She said it may sound good to Democrats to oppose the wall, but they should reflect on what that means for national security and the crisis at the southern border.

'Well let's hope they don't, ' she said of the likelihood that there will be a no vote. That would mark the third time this year that the government has at least partially shut down.

Ann Coulter, an outspoken conservative commentator, recently published a column titled: "Gutless President in Wall-less Country" - but of course it will be wall-less, Trump now wants steel slats.

The sense of turmoil was compounded by a falling stock market, Mr Trump's abrupt decision to disregard advisers and allies and pull out of Syria, and the shock resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, seen as a moderating force for an impulsive president.

The government will shut down at midnight Friday if lawmakers can not put a bill on the president's desk that he is willing to sign.

William Foster, vice president of Moody's Investors Services, said that a "brief shutdown of the U.S. government due to a budget impasse would cause minimal disruption to the economy".

Ryan - who has been busy giving a series of farewell speeches in recent weeks as he plans to leave office - cancelled a scheduled press conference before he and other House GOP leaders were summoned to the White House. Lisa Murkowski? McConnell could lose one of them and get Mike Pence to drop in, but he can't lose any more than that and make this rule change succeed. Trump said early Friday in a tweet.

The President has long said that he would be willing to shut down the government over border wall funding, a point Democrats have hammered home in recent days.

Democratic leaders have made clear they will not budge on their opposition to the border wall that Trump campaigned on saying Mexico would pay for it. Mexico has refused. "The Republicans are in disarray. But in terms of wall funding, that's a non-starter".