Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump Threatens to Close the Entire Southern Border

Trump Threatens to Close the Entire Southern Border

Lawmakers are considering taking up a one-week spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown by Friday, a move created to put off a major showdown until after former President George H.W. Bush's funeral proceedings, according to a source briefed on the talks.

Illegal immigration was a central theme of Trump's presidential bid, and he repeatedly invoked the issue ahead of the November 6 congressional elections as a caravan of migrants from Central America made their way toward the United States. House Republicans have passed a spending bill that includes $5 billion for the president's proposed border wall, while Senate Democrats have proposed $1.6 billion for the project.

President Trump has also called for a permanent solution to the Obama-era DACA program along with other reforms to the immigration system.

Trump long claimed Mexico would pay for the wall, but instead the bill would be paid by USA taxpayers as part of funding for the Homeland Security Department.

Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94, will be memorialized on Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington.

More than 100 conservatives from political action groups signed a memo Tuesday, demanding a minimum of five billion dollars for the wall.

"The overwhelming number of members of Congress - all of the leadership, Republican and Democratic leadership - have said shutting down the government is not something they want to do", Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said on MSNBC. According to a former administration official who spoke to the Post, the Bush family contacted the White House this summer to welcome Trump to the funeral.

Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Chairwoman Shelley Moore Capito said that having the new funding deadline just days before Christmas could increase pressure on lawmakers to come to an agreement. But Trump has signaled he's ready to fight for the money as one of the last big-ticket items of the GOP-led Congress before Democrats take over the House in the new year.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that they could support up to $1.6 billion in border security, not border wall funding, "that was included in a bipartisan Senate bill".

McConnell told reporters over the weekend that it's up to Trump "to do a deal with the Democrats".

Without action by Congress, federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture, State Department and Department of Homeland Security would find themselves without any money to pay employees and administer programs through the fiscal year that ends next September 30.

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