Donald Trump warns Senate Democrats of ‘very long’ government shutdown if they block border security
President Trump on Friday warned Senate Democrats that a government shutdown would “last for a very long time” if they don’t approve spending for border security.
Mr. Trump forcefully opened the showdown with Senate Democrats ahead of a midnight deadline for a partial government shutdown.
The House on Thursday night passed a spending bill that included the $5 billion for border security that the president demanded, setting up the Senate showdown.
“The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED. If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don’t want Open Borders and Crime!” Mr. Trump said in a series of morning tweets.
He also commended House Republicans for rallying behind his border security demands.
“No matter what happens today in the Senate, Republican House Members should be very proud of themselves,” the wrote. “They flew back to Washington from all parts of the World in order to vote for Border Security and the Wall. Not one Democrat voted yes, and we won big. I am very proud of you!”
The House vote would now pin the blame for a shutdown on Senate Democrats if they sink the bill, Mr. Trump said.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the House-passed spending bill is doomed in the upper chamber, where it needs Democratic support to clear a 60-vote threshold to survive.
Mr. Trump urged Senate Republicans to stick together.
“Senator Mitch McConnell should fight for the Wall and Border Security as hard as he fought for anything. He will need Democrat votes, but as shown in the House, good things happen. If enough Dems don’t vote, it will be a Democrat Shutdown! House Republicans were great yesterday!” he said.
Democrats fiercely oppose a border wall, which was a top campaign promise for Mr. Trump in 2016 and part of his crusade to crack down on illegal immigration.
He cast the spending battle over border security and his quest for a border wall as nothing less than historic.
“Even President Ronald Reagan tried for 8 years to build a Border Wall, or Fence, and was unable to do so. Others also have tried. We will get it done, one way or the other!” he said.
The Senate approved a spending bill Wednesday that did not include the extra spending on border security after it appeared the White House agreed to the deal.
But Mr. Trump reversed course Thursday, issuing a veto threat that prompted House Republicans to rewrite the legislation.
The House narrowly passed the bill in a 217-185 vote, largely along party lines.
The bill included $5.7 billion in additional border security in a measure that would fund dozens of departments and agencies at their current levels through Feb. 8.