Trump bickers with top Democrats over border wall funding


Washington: US President Donald Trump repeatedly threatened a government shutdown over funding for his proposed border wall in a budget row with top Democrats.
During a heated exchange with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Trump said he would be “proud” to shut down the government over border security.
If lawmakers cannot agree on a federal budget, funding for some departments will run out at the end of next week.
Trump has asked to include $5bn (£4bn) in the deal for border security.
But Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Pelosi said they had agreed to extend funding for the Department of Homeland Security at current levels of $1.3bn (£1bn) until 30 September 2019.
Trump opened the Oval Office meeting calling it a “great honour” to have Schumer and Pelosi present, in their first meeting since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in the November mid-term elections.
But the meeting soon turned contentious as Pelosi and Schumer argued that the Republican-controlled Congress could pass legislation before funding for some agencies was set to expire on 21 December.
The president contended that it could only pass if it met his demands for more funding for his proposed border wall along the US southern border.
“If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government,” Mr Trump said.
“And I am proud to shut down the government for border security. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”


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