Trump doubts lawmakers can reach acceptable border security deal
President Donald Trump expressed skepticism on Sunday that U.S. lawmakers seeking to avoid another government shutdown could reach a deal on border security that he would accept, as he renewed his vow to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico, Trend reports referring to Reuters.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said chances were low that Congress could craft an agreement and avoid another closure of part of the U.S. government in three weeks’ time, when funding will expire.
“I personally think it’s less than 50-50, but you have a lot of very good people on that board,” the president said, referring to the committee of lawmakers appointed to work out a compromise on border security funding.
Another shutdown, Trump told the Wall Street Journal, was “certainly an option.”
The president has also said he might declare a national emergency in order to build his border wall. Democrats would likely challenge that in court.
“Does anybody really think I won’t build the WALL? Done more in first two years than any President!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday evening.
Democratic resistance to Republican Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall resulted in a 35-day shutdown of about a fourth of the U.S. government, a closure that just ended on Friday.
The five-week standoff damaged the U.S. economy, left many federal workers scrambling to make ends meet and tested Americans’ patience with delays to air travel, closures of national parks and other disruptions.
After opinion polls showed Americans increasingly blamed Trump for the situation, the president signed a measure on Friday to fund the government for three weeks as congressional negotiators try to work out a bill to fully fund the agencies through Sept. 30.
But Trump also threatened to resume the shutdown on Feb. 15 if he does not get what he wants.
In his interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump also sounded doubtful about a possible deal involving both wall money and a broader overhaul of U.S. immigration laws.
“I doubt it,” he said, when asked if he would agree to citizenship for a group of immigrants known as “Dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children - in exchange for border wall funding.
“That’s a separate subject to be taken up at a separate time,” Trump said.