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20 Dec, 2018 18:43

No deal: Shutdown looms after Trump refuses to sign funding bill without Wall money

No deal: Shutdown looms after Trump refuses to sign funding bill without Wall money

US President Donald Trump has refused to sign the continuing resolution to keep the government open, as it does not contain any funding for the border wall, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has confirmed.

Sanders said Trump “does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall.”

Walls work, whether we like it or not,” Trump said at a White House event. “They work better than anything.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he was headed back to Capitol Hill to work on “adding border security” to the House version of the government funding bill. The House Republican leadership has canceled a press conference scheduled for Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the president tweeted that he had signed last year’s omnibus spending bill on the promise that the GOP leadership would fund the wall in 2018, which has not been kept. Republicans lost the majority in the House in the November midterms; Democrats, who are supposed to take over on January 3, have outright rejected approving any funds for Trump’s border wall with Mexico.

Trump’s allies in the House Freedom Caucus have urged the president to veto the proposed spending bill, approved on Wednesday in the Senate but still up for a House vote.

“We're going to back you up. If you veto this bill, we'll be there,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina).

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has urged Trump to ignore the calls of his allies in the House, arguing that shutting down the government “will not convince a single Democrat to support bilking the American taxpayer for an ineffective, unnecessary and exorbitantly expensive wall.”

Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has repeatedly caved to opposition from Democrats on the funding of the wall. He declined to run for re-election, and is expected to go into the private sector after leaving Congress in January.

Some congressional Republicans share Trump’s frustration with the House leadership. Rep. Steve Womack (R-Arkansas) told NPR that the GOP needs to act while it still has the majority in the chamber of Congress that holds the power of the purse.

“We're about to lose the majority and we've made promises that haven't been kept,” Womack said. “If we aren't willing to fight now on the way out of the majority, then when are we willing to fight?”

The US government has shut down once before – for three days in January this year, and for several hours in February – amid the ongoing struggle between Trump and the Democrats over immigration and border control policies.

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