President Donald Trump vowed Tuesday that he will insist on $5 billion for border wall funding in the next spending bill and will risk a government shutdown to do so.
“I am firm. We need border security, of which a wall is part of it. But we need border security. All you have to do is look at the borders,” Trump declared, according to Politico, adding “we need border security in this country, and if that means a shutdown I would totally be willing to shut it down. And I think it’s a really bad issue for the Democrats.”
The president elaborated that he believes any potential government shutdown over border wall funding would be politically beneficial to him saying, “I will tell you politically speaking, that issue is a total winner. People look at the border, they look at the rush to the police, they look at the rock throwers and really hurting three people, three very brave Border Patrol folks — I think that it’s a tremendous issue.”
Trump hedged his bets, however, in another interview Tuesday with The Washington Post saying he had a “Plan B” if the shutdown strategy does not work.
“If we don’t get it, will I get it done another way? I might get it done another way. There are other potential ways that I can do it. You saw what we did with the military, just coming in with the barbed wire and the fencing, and various other things,” he said.
Trump met with the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon in which he reiterated to lawmakers that he would not budge on his demand for $5 billion of wall funding. Democratic lawmakers conversely have said they are only willing to offer the president $1.6 billion in funding, leaving an immense gap for the two sides to come together with just nine days until spending for the U.S. government runs out.