Donald Trump: ‘I would love to see a shutdown’
Comments on immigration undermine ongoing budget negotiations
Donald Trump has said that he would welcome another government shutdown if Democrats don’t agree to toughen immigration laws during ongoing budget negotiations.
"We'll do a shutdown and it's worth it for our country. I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of," Trump said, referring to immigration laws.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later walked back the comments, saying that Mr Trump was “not advocating for the shutdown”, the BBC says.
The US government is facing its second shutdown in less than a month, and will run out of funding on Thursday if Republicans and Democrats cannot settle on a deal before then.
CNN reports that Trump’s comments came at the same time Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat Senate leader Chuck Schumer used separate news conferences to tout “the progress on the talks and [to make] clear a deal was close.”
The Guardian says that despite Trump’s comments linking any potential shutdown to illegal immigration and billions in funding for a border wall with Mexico, “the potential budget deal would not address immigration.”
The deal lawmakers are reportedly working on will instead cover an increase in military spending, with Democrats holding out for a corresponding increase in “middle-class priorities on the domestic side,” according to Schumer.
Should a deal be reached, lawmakers could approve legislation that includes the spending increases, along with another temporary measure that would keep the government open until 23 March.