Trump digs in on demand for wall funding, raising shutdown risk

President Trump on Thursday dug in on his demand for border wall funding in a must-pass spending bill, heightening the risk of a government shutdown.

“I’ve made my position very clear: Any measure that funds the government must include border security,” the president said at a signing ceremony for the farm bill.

{mosads}Trump said his push for a border wall “is not merely my campaign promise,” but is also “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,” he said. “We have no choice.”

The comments came hours after Trump rejected a spending deal that would have funded the government until Feb. 8 but did not include money for his long-desired border wall.

Lawmakers have until the end of the day on Friday to pass a measure to avert a partial shutdown.

Trump’s abrupt decision left House Republicans scrambling to come up with a solution just over 24 hours before the shutdown deadline.

Members proposed a funding measure that would add roughly $5 billion to build barriers along the southern border, the amount Trump asked for ahead of the spending fight.

But it is not clear if the bill can pass the House or Senate, where Democrats vehemently oppose Trump’s wall.

The president said he would call the structures “steel slats” in order “to give them a little bit of an out.”

“We don’t use the word ‘wall,’ necessarily, but it has to be something special to do the job,” he said.

The White House signaled earlier this week that Trump would accept a funding package without the $5 billion in wall money, but the president appeared to reverse course after coming under fire from conservative lawmakers and right-wing pundits.

“It is all about — and I say this in any way they want to hear it—it’s all about America first,” Trump said. “We have to put our country, we have to put our people first and we have to put safety first.”

— Updated 4:21 p.m.

Tags border wall funding Donald Trump Government shutdown
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