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Trump says he’s prepared for a long government shutdown as midnight deadline looms

Trump says he’s prepared for a long government shutdown as midnight deadline looms


The Republican-led House approved funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is not expected to pass. With no agreement, government funding for various departments expires at midnight Friday. (Dec. 21)

WASHINGTON – Parts of the federal government appeared headed for a shutdown at midnight Friday after an emergency White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans failed to produce a clear pathway for ending a budget standoff.

With the clock ticking, Trump said he was “totally prepared for a very long shutdown.” The chances of fa shutdown are “probably very good,” he said, as he blamed the Democrats.

“It’s totally up to the Democrats” whether or not a shutdown happens, he said.

On Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., put the blame on Trump and recalled that just last week Trump said he would be “proud” to shut down the government over border security and that he’d accept responsibility for the fallout.

Democrats will not budge from their opposition to border wall funding, Schumer said.

“You will not get your wall,” he said.

The Senate is expected to vote Friday afternoon on a short-term spending measure that would keep the government running through early next year and would include $5 billion that Trump wants to build a wall along the nation’s southern border.

Trump, meanwhile, had planned to leave Friday afternoon for an end-of-the-year vacation in southern Florida, but said he would push back that trip if a new budget agreement is not reached and a shutdown occurs.

Amid a series of shutdown-related tweets Friday morning, Trump blasted Democrats ahead of any Senate action and was already blaming them for any future government shutdown, which he warned could “last a very long time.”

“The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED,” he wrote via Twitter. “If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don’t want Open Borders and Crime!”

More: After chaotic day, Donald Trump defends wall plan and warns of lengthy government shutdown

Lawmakers have until midnight Friday to pass a spending bill or funding will expire for a quarter of the federal government, triggering a shutdown heading into the holidays and forcing some 800,000 federal employees to go on furlough or work without pay.

Congress is trying to end the budget stalemate and avert a government shutdown by piecing together a short-term measure that would keep the funds flowing through early next year.

A Senate proposal, approved Wednesday night, would have funded the government through Feb. 8 but would have delayed any decision on border wall funding until next year.

But after Trump informed House GOP leaders during an emergency Oval Office meeting on Thursday that he would not sign the Senate bill, the House responded by introducing its own spending package.

The House bill would fund the government through Feb. 8 but also includes $5.7 billion for a border wall and nearly $8 billion in disaster relief to compensate communities hit hard by this year’s hurricanes and wildfires. The House approved that bill Thursday night.

Congress is scrambling to pass a short-term spending bill because lawmakers still haven’t passed seven of the 12 appropriations bills that are needed to fund the government for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The seven remaining bills would fund nine departments – Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development – as well as several smaller agencies. Those are the departments and agencies that would be impacted by a government shutdown.


President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had a heated exchange in front of reporters at the White House.


With more eyes watching the border, migrants are forced to walk for days in their attempt to cross from Mexico into the United States. Some make it. Some die. A USA TODAY NETWORK video production.

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