Democrats 'Own' Looming Government Shutdown

Democrats 'Own' Looming Government Shutdown

He earlier warned Senate Democrats that if they don't vote for his border wall, there will be a "very long" government shutdown beginning Friday night.

"Now it's up to the Democrats as to whether or not we have a shutdown tonight", Mr. Trump said at a meeting with Senate Republicans.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called Trump's threats a "temper tantrum".

Trump last week said he would "proudly" accept responsibility for a shutdown in a fight over the border wall.

While Republicans have a majority in the Senate - 51 to the Democrats' 49 - a bill needs 60 votes to pass, unlike in the House, where a simple majority is enough.

A senior White House official told CNN Friday it's possible that Trump will decide not to back down on the wall fight as a result of growing pressure from the Freedom Caucus and conservatives.

Hard-right conservative pundits and lawmakers have urged Trump to push for border wall funding now, even if it leads to a shutdown, arguing that it would be impossible to get once Democrats take control of the House on January 3.

GOP leaders - who didn't think they could get a majority of votes for the border wall - sweetened the bill by adding nearly $8 billion in disaster relief money, to help areas in the South hit by hurricanes, and places out West which have suffered from wildfires.

But funding for other agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and Agriculture Department, is set to expire at midnight on Friday.

Democrat Senator Carl Levin of MI said it would be "like allowing the home team to change the rules in the middle of the game".

The Senate is being called back to session to consider a package approved by House Republicans.

"With several spending bills expiring on Saturday, that leaves today for some last-minute deal making -that is, bickering whether Trump does or does not get his desired Christmas present- to avoid a partial shutdown of government".

The House's continuing resolution, which would fund the government until February 8, also includes $8 billion for disaster relief.

Trump's comments came after an emergency meeting earlier Thursday at the White House with top House GOP leaders and several conservatives, including House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of OH, a former Freedom Caucus chairman. Just last week he said he would be "proud" to shut down the government over it. I'm supposed to believe, we're supposed to believe that we're then going to build the border security wall and keep our promise from the 2016 campaign? The partial government shutdown could begin, or lawmakers could work to find a solution that Trump finds acceptable.

It was expected at the beginning of the week that President Trump would sign the Senate version, but after pushback from conservatives he returned to the all-or-nothing wall money demand.

"We're totally prepared for a very long shutdown", Trump said Friday.

Many agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, are funded for the year and would continue to operate as usual.

"Any measure that funds the government has to include border security - not for political purposes, but for our country", Trump said. "Not for wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on an immoral, ineffective & expensive wall", said Speaker-Designate Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Also, it will be much more hard to convince Congress to fund a tremendous, attractive wall, believe me. "When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership".

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