President Trump has threatened to shut down the federal government if funding for a proposed border wall isn’t approved.
Speaking at a rally in Arizona on Tuesday, the commander-in-chief promised to wage war on Washington if his homeland security vision isn’t realized on September.
Politicians on both sides of the political fence have expressed skepticism and worry.
Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan seemed less than enthused at the prospect of a governmental shutdown.
“I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included,” said Ryan on Tuesday.
The lawmaker noted that the House of Representatives has already passed a budget which includes funding for the president’s proposed border wall. However, in order to reach the White House, the package would have to be approved by the Senate – despite a Republican majority, any advocates of the budget would need to garner some Democratic support.
Mexico will pay for the wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2016
“The fact is though, given the time of year it is and the rest of the appropriations we have to do, we are going to need more time to complete appropriations process, particularly in the Senate,” Ryan said.
The Speaker suggested that a short-term government funding bill – known as a continuing resolution – would probably have to be passed in order to keep Congress working post-September.
Addressing a crowd of supporters in Yuma, AZ, the president didn’t take the same cautious approach as his party’s primary representative in the House.
“If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” Trump said.
Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement shortly after the president promised a wall to his followers.
“If the President pursues this path, against the wishes of both Republicans and Democrats, as well as the majority of American people, he will be heading towards a government shutdown which nobody will like and which won’t accomplish anything,” Schumer said.
The construction of an enhanced barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border has been a key component of President Trump’s promises, made before and after his election.
A recently revealed transcript of a January call between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto recorded the former hounding his Latin American colleague about the wall.
While seeming to accept that Mexico probably wouldn’t pay for a proposed border wall, Trump requested that Nieto keep quiet and not tell the media his plans to rebut the president’s demand that Mexico pay.