President Trump threatened to shut down the government for a “very long time” on Friday if Senate Democrats reject a funding bill passed by the House that includes money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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“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 on Twitter. “If the Dems vote no, there will be a partial shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don’t want Open Borders and Crime!”
The Republican-controlled House late Thursday passed a funding bill that included Trump’s mandated $5 billion for the border wall, a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign. In order to pass funding legislation, the Senate needs a 60-vote threshold, but Republicans only hold 51 seats.
Trump urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to use the “nuclear option” -- cutting the needed 60 votes for passage to 51 -- to force the funding through but the Kentucky Republican has been reluctant to do so (he’s previously said the support does not exist for extending the simple-majority threshold to limit debate to the legislative calendar, according to Roll Call).
The president signed a bipartisan stopgap spending bill last Fridayto avert a shutdown, extending the original Dec. 7 deadline to Dec. 21. The House and the Senate unanimously passed the bill.