Trump: 'Worst thing' about possible shutdown is effect on military

Trump: 'Worst thing' about possible shutdown is effect on military
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE said Thursday the “worst thing” about a possible government shutdown would be its effect on the U.S. military.

"If the country shuts down, which could very well be ... the worst thing is what happens to our military,” Trump told reporters outside the Pentagon, where he is meeting with military leaders.

The president reiterated his threat to blame Democrats for a shutdown, saying “it’s up to the Democrats” whether Congress is able to keep the government open. Republicans control the House and Senate.

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Trump’s comments come just hours before the House is set to vote on a stopgap spending bill to avert a shutdown.

It’s unclear whether House Republican leaders have the votes to pass the plan, adding suspense ahead of the deadline at midnight on Friday.

Some GOP national security hawks have balked at the plan because it does not lift budget caps on defense spending.

But it’s unclear how much the military will be affected by a shutdown. President Obama signed a law ahead of the 2013 shutdown that authorized pay for military personnel and some civilian Defense Department workers.

Active-duty military personnel typically work through shutdowns as do other Pentagon workers. Other civilian workers are furloughed if they are deemed nonessential to military operations.

Trump roiled the government funding debate earlier Thursday when he tweeted that he did not want the Children's Health Insurance Program funded in the stopgap spending bill.

That contradicted the official position of his own White House and GOP leaders in Congress.