During a recent joint press conference at the White House with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, President Donald Trump made it clear that he has no problem shutting down the federal government if need be in order to help move things along in getting Congress to deal with America’s precariously porous border situation.
CBSN footage of the press conference, available at Brighteon.com, depicts the president once again outlining his agenda for strengthening the borders of the United States, mainly with a border wall for which he promised Mexico would pay.
“As far as the border is concerned, and personally, if we don’t get border security, after many, many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown,” Trump confidently stated, adding that he and Prime Minister Conte are “united in our conviction that strong nations must have strong borders.”
The president has repeatedly tried, and thus far failed, to get the Democratic contingent of Congress to support his “Build That Wall!” mantra. Full funding for the wall has yet to materialize, and Trump says he’s willing to “leave room for negotiation” when it comes to how much of the money will need to come from the federal budget, at least upfront.
“It’s time we had proper border security,” Trump added during his statement on America’s illegal immigration problem. “We’re the laughing stock of the world. We have the worst immigration laws anywhere in the world.”
Watch President Trump’s full statements below:
Though Trump has stated publicly that obtaining the full $25 billion for his wall from Congress is by no means a “red line,” his feelings on the matter have been expressed somewhat differently behind closed doors.
Reports indicate that Trump has expressed frustration during private meetings with senators and various members of his staff over the fact that Congress isn’t unified in supporting better border security. According to reports, Congress is only planning to pay $1.6 billion of the wall’s total tab.
“I have no red line, unlike President Obama,” Trump is quoted as saying, referring to comments Obama had made while president about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. “I just want great border security.”
Many on the right are hoping for a massive “red wave” this November, which would seal the deal in creating the Republican majority in Congress that’s necessary to tackle the nation’s broken immigration system. A conservative majority would make it much easier to achieve the budget reconciliation necessary to fund the rest of the border wall, for instance.
As explained by The Hill, budget reconciliation is how Obamacare arrived at Obama’s desk, and it’s the same way that Congress can access the rest of the $25 billion that’s needed to finish the wall.
“As we did with health care and tax reform, once both houses have passed the budget resolution with this instruction by a simple majority vote, reconciliation would be unlocked,” writes Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL) for The Hill.
Rep. Byrne is introducing a bill known as the “Fifty Votes for the Wall Act” that would create a new mandatory spending program to provide up to $25 billion for President Trump’s border wall project.
“From this point, we could fund the border wall through a new mandatory spending program and pass the bill with 50 votes in the Senate, overcoming what is sure to be a Democratic filibuster.”
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