President Donald Trump said Saturday it is a good time to shut down the government to gain leverage with Democrats to fund his demands for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
“This would be a very good time to do a shutdown,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for a trip to California. “I don’t think it’s going to be necessary, because I think the Democrats will come to their senses, and if they don’t come to their senses, we will continue to win elections.”
Trump suggested coverage of a “caravan” of Central American migrants making its way north in Mexico added to his leverage. “I think probably if I was ever going to do a shutdown over border security — when you look at the caravan, when you look at the mess,” Trump said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he expects to reach an agreement to avoid a partial government shutdown next month and address the president’s demands for funds for a border wall.
Funding is set to end Dec. 7 for some federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the National Park Service. Congress already passed full-year funding for many other federal agencies, meaning they would remain open.