Trump Holds The Line On Wall Funding, Shutdown To Go Past Christmas


Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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The Trump administration will not relent on its demand of Congress for $5 billion in funding for a proposed wall along the U.S. southern border despite it meaning a partial government shutdown that will extend at least until past Christmas.

Senior administration officials told reporters Saturday that the White House continues to demand $5 billion in border wall funding. The White House demand came as the U.S. Senate adjourned until December 27, meaning that approximately 25 percent of the U.S. government will remain unfunded in the meantime. (RELATED: The Government Is Officially In Partial Shutdown — This Is What You Can Expect)

Men from Mexico climb the US-Mexico border wall in Playas de Tijuana, northwestern Mexico, November 18, 2018. – The Central American migrant caravan trekking toward the United States converged on the US-Mexican border Thursday after more than a month on the road, undeterred by President Donald Trump’s deployment of thousands of American troops near the border. (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP)

The partial government shutdown is the third of 2018 and represents a bitter fight within Congress over President Donald Trump’s signature campaign promise. Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have declared that they will not appropriate a single dollar in taxpayer funds towards a border wall and are only willing to provide approximately $1.3 to 1.6 billion in “border security” funding.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent keeps watch at the Hugs Not Walls event on the U.S.-Mexico border on October 13, 2018 in Sunland Park, New Mexico. More than 200 families with mixed immigration status living in the U.S. were allowed to reunify with relatives in Mexico for three minutes after Border Patrol briefly opened the border wall to allow the reunions. The event is approved by the U.S. government as families keep their feet on their respective sides of the border. The event is normally held in downtown El Paso but was moved to New Mexico due to new construction of an 18-foot border wall in El Paso. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The border security funds could be put towards building or rebuilding infrastructure that already exists on the wall such as “steel slats.” Trump has tweeted in recent days that he doesn’t care if people call his barrier a “steel slat fence” or a “wall.”

Senior administration officials stressed to reporters that this partial shutdown will be made “as painless as possible” and will not infringe on the daily lives of Americans if it is limited in scope. Officials stressed that normal shutdowns are much more cumbersome for ordinary life because they encompass all government services, while this particular one will only effect some agencies. (RELATED: The Government Shut Down, But Trump Will Keep National Parks Open)