Trump Wall Demand Could Force Partial Shutdown

Next month is the deadline to fund federal government operations for the fiscal year. President Trump wants $5 billion for his border wall but Democrats won’t go along, at least yet.

With a potential partial government shutdown two weeks away, Democrats and Republicans are dug in, each side upping its demands and vowing not to buckle to the other. President Trump is pressuring Republicans to obtain at least $5 billion for his border wall, far more than what Senate Democrats are prepared to give. Democrats want legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller and the elimination of a citizenship question from the next census, Politico reports. House Republicans, set to enter the minority, recognize this is their last chance to get a down payment for Trump’s wall before entering legislative obscurity.

The stakes have been lessened somewhat by deals to fund about 75 percent of the government until next fall. A partial shutdown isn’t what either party is looking for, either. “I don’t want to screw with those deadlines; I don’t want to engage in shutdown politics. Let’s fund the federal government and move on,” said Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI). Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is in no mood to swallow a major concession on wall money that would boost the president, urging Trump to stay out of the negotiations. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has introduced a bill providing $25 billion for the wall while proposing to pay for it by cutting benefits for undocumented immigrants and levying fines on people who cross the border illegally. “Here is the thing: Walls work. We know they work,” Inhofe said.