President Donald Trump has said that he would be willing to shut down the U.S. government if he doesn't get $5 billion for a border wall.
Why is Trump adamant about border security?
“I don't do anything ... just for political gain,” Trump told Politico on Wednesday, referring to his push for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner. People look at the border, they look at the rush to the police, they look at the rock throwers and really hurting three people, three very brave Border Patrol folks — I think that it's a tremendous issue, but much more importantly, is really needed. So we have to have border security.”
Trump said he was “firm” on getting $5 billion for the wall.
On Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters that Democrats were willing to approve $1.6 billion in wall funding. However, he refused to say whether Democrats would be willing to negotiate on that point.
Congress needs to pass seven appropriations bills by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. Although they lost control of the House of Representatives on Nov. 6, Republicans still control both houses of Congress until the end of this session. However, even with a GOP majority, Democratic votes will be necessary for any spending deal to pass the Senate.
If a deal isn't reached, funding for the Department of Homeland Security will run out Dec. 7. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement falls under the umbrella of DHS.
In March, Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, averting another government shutdown. This included $641 million for a 33-mile stretch of border fence. As increased government spending drives the federal budget deficit to its highest level since 2012, Trump asked members of his Cabinet to figure out ways to cut 5 percent from their respective budgets for the 2020 fiscal year.
What are voters saying?
According to a Morning Consult/Politico poll taken Nov. 15-18, 55 percent of voters said that funding a border wall was not worth shutting down the government. This included 34 percent of respondents who identified as Republicans, and 61 percent who identified as Independents.