President Donald Trump says he is willing to shutdown the US government if his border wall between the U.S. and Mexico isn’t given the money needed to move forward.
Trump was speaking at a “Make America Great Again” rally in Phoenix, Arizona when he claimed Democrats were acting as “obstructionists.”
The President referred to his wall as a “big, beautiful” attempt to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States.
Trump hopes to secure funds for the wall by baking them into the government spending bill, a maneuver that will require the participation of both the Republicans and Democrats.
During his speech the 45th POTUS said Democrats were “putting all of America’s safety at risk” by opposing the wall. He then claimed that immigration officers who worked in the area said it was “vital” to slow the flow of illegal immigrants into the USA.
Trump said if necessary, he would shut down the federal government. “Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me if we have to close down our government, we are building that wall,” Trump said. He also claimed that “the American people voted for immigration control,” despite the fact that he lost the popular vote by more than three million votes.
Shutting down the U.S. federal government wouldn’t be hard, the President simply needs to refuse a signing of any funding bill that comes across his desk from Congress.
If a new spending bill isn’t passed by October 1 federal operations could grind to a halt.
Trump’s speech shows the growing pressure the President is facing after promising throughout his campaign to build a massive $20+ billion border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. With racial and economic concerns mounting, the President is likely feeling additional pressure to follow through on his promise.
In recent months, Trump has abandoned his rhetoric that claimed he would force the Mexican government to pay for the wall.
In the meantime, Trump can’t even get a prototype wall started in San Diego, California. That project was scheduled to start this summer but has been delayed by legal challenges mounted by one of the program’s rejected bidders.
The wall is also being fought against by ranchers, environmentalists, and even some businesses.
Trump has also lost favor for the wall with at least one lawmaker in Texas — Will Hurt has called the project the most expensive and least effective course that can be taken to secure the border.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.