Donald Trump demands funding for his border wall as partial US Government shutdown looms – Donald Trump’s America
About a quarter of of the US Government will close without an agreement. (Reuters: Carlos Barria)
In a few hours, the United States Government could enter a partial shutdown.
- Up to 800,000 federal workers could be furloughed or forced to work without pay
- It would be the second US Government shutdown in 2018
- National parks and the State Department would be affected by the shutdown
President Donald Trump has told House Republican leaders he will not back a Senate-passed spending measure to avert a partial federal shutdown because it lacks the money he is demanding for his border wall with Mexico.
If politicians can’t come to an agreement by midnight Friday local time, the US Federal Government will partially shut down.
So what will be shut down if they can’t make a deal?
About a quarter of the US Government will close.
According to Vox, the services that could be affected by a partial shutdown include:
- National parks (facilities like public toilets could be closed)
- The State Department (meaning it could be trickier for Americans to have passports processed)
- The Internal Revenue Service
- Food and environmental checks could be reduced
All up, more than 800,000 federal workers could be furloughed or forced to work without pay.
The rest of the Government already has the cash to keep running, thanks to other spending bills that have been passed.
Trump’s wall is at the centre of this fight
Remember this fiery exchange in the White House last week?
That started because Mr Trump wanted Congress to give him $US5 billion to fund the border wall.
The temporary measure passed by the Senate offered just $US1.3 billion for border security fencing and other improvements and can’t be used for new wall construction.
“If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other — whether it’s through you, through a military, through anything you want to call — I will shut down the Government,” Mr Trump said last week.
Today, he said risking partial shutdown was necessary because a “powerful physical barrier” is “essential to border security”.
@realDonaldTrump: Democrats, it is time to come together and put the SAFETY of the AMERICAN PEOPLE before POLITICS. Border security must become a #1 priority!
The President is also feeling the heat from his conservative backers over the wall, which was a central promise of his 2016 campaign.
Some of the President’s allies accused him of “caving” on the wall. They warned of the potential backlash from supporters and the impact it could have on his 2020 re-election effort.
The failed promise, they argued, could weaken voter turnout and leave him more vulnerable to challengers.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter published a column that called Mr Trump “gutless” and said in a radio interview that she won’t vote for Mr Trump in 2020 if he doesn’t deliver on the wall.
“Nor will, I think, most of his supporters. Why would you?” she asked, arguing that Mr Trump’s time in office will one day go down as “a joke presidency that scammed the American people”.
This could be Trump’s last chance to get money for the wall
Hence the panic to get a deal done now.
We’re in the final days of this Congress, which has a Republican-controlled House and Senate.
On January 3, a new Congress will be sworn in.
This is the one Americans voted in at November’s midterm elections, and it brings a House controlled by Democrats.
Experts say that for the next two years, Democrats will use that majority to stonewall any attempts by Mr Trump pass his agenda — including the wall.
What happens now?
There’s only a handful of hours left for House Republicans and Democrats to do a deal.
The deadline will pass at 4:00pm AEDT.
After that, the Government enters partial shutdown until politicians can reach an agreement that will pass Congress.
That could take hours. It could take weeks.
The Statue of Liberty was closed during the shutdown earlier this year. (Reuters: Andrew Kelly)
The US Government previously shut down for three days in January this year (that time because of a dispute over immigration policy).
In 2013, it shut down for 16 days and delivered an estimated $US1 billion hit to the US economy, according to Moody’s Analytics.
House Republicans made a last-ditch attempt to add $US5 billion for Mr Trump’s wall to a government funding bill.
The bill was approved by the House, 217-185, largely along party lines.
But it will now go to the Senate, where it has almost no chance of passing.