Politics

Trump Moves Towards Shutdown Over Wall Funding

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump informed GOP leadership that he will not sign a continuing resolution passed by the Senate late Wednesday because it does not contain funding for his proposed wall along U.S. southern border, House Speaker Paul Ryan revealed at the White House Thursday afternoon.

Ryan spoke alongside House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy after meeting with Trump for nearly an hour. Ryan told reporters that Trump informed them he would not sign the bill without border security funding. McCarthy said he was optimistic that some deal could be reached within Congress ahead of the Friday deadline.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders quickly released a statement declaring:

President Trump just met with Republican Members of the House. Not surprisingly, they all feel strongly about Border Security — stopping the flow of drugs, stopping human trafficking, and stopping terrorism. We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation. We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall.

Trump’s declaration to Ryan is the latest in a head-spinning saga of shutdown politics with a central fight for funding his proposed wall along the U.S. southern border. Democratic lawmakers insist they will give Trump no more than $1.3 billion in funding while Republicans say they need $5 billion.

Trump originally pledged to shut the government down during a fiery Oval Office meeting with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. The president went so far as to declare he would be “proud” to do the shutdown and that it would be politically beneficial to him. (Related: Is Trump Blowing His Last Chance To Get The Wall?)

This posture changed significantly, however, when White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders broke from this hardline position Tuesday.

As she related to Fox News, “There are certainly a number of different funding sources that we’ve identified that we can use — that we can couple with money that would be given through congressional appropriations — that would help us get to that $5 billion that the president needs in order to protect our border.”

Trump’s newest declaration to Ryan appears to show he is back where he began and that shutdown may be unavoidable.