Trump steps up calls for border wall as shutdown looms

Trump steps up calls for border wall as shutdown looms
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President Trump on Monday said building a wall on the Mexican border will stop drugs from coming into the United States.

Trump offered the argument on Twitter the same day lawmakers return to Washington with a week remaining to fund the government. The White House would like to see money for the wall in the funding bill.

"The Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others)!" the president tweeted.

He later added that without the wall, the "drug situation will NEVER be fixed the way it should be!"

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Trump and top administration officials on Sunday talked up the importance of the border wall. The government will shut down at midnight on April 28 if Congress cannot agree on a spending bill. 

Democrats and some Republicans have voiced strong opposition to using the spending bill as a vehicle to begin funding the border wall. Democrats have noted repeatedly that when Trump promised on the campaign trail to build the wall, he also promised that Mexico would pay for it. 

Democrats are also demanding the spending bill include funding for ObamaCare's cost-sharing program, while helps low-income people pay healthcare costs.

Trump on Sunday criticized Democrats, saying they don't want money going to the wall even though it will "stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members."

He also expressed confidence he would fulfill his campaign promise to have Mexico pay for the structure.

"Eventually but at a later date so we can get started early," he tweeted, "Mexico will be paying in some form, for the badly needed border wall."

--This report was updated at 11:37 a.m.