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Trump Again Threatens Government Shutdown Over Border Wall

Unnerving fellow Republicans, President Donald Trump declared Monday he would have "no problem" shutting down the federal government this fall if Congress won't come up with more money for border security.

Trump said he had no "red line" in so far as the amount he wants Congress to approve, and that he will "always leave room for negotiation".

"I said to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again", Trump said in March.

He wants lawmakers to approve $25bn (£19bn) to fund the construction of a "big, lovely wall" on the US-Mexico border, a signature promise of his election campaign.

While he spoke specifically about border wall funding on Twitter, Trump on Monday did not take a firm stance on his must-fund priorities.

Specifically, he mentioned moving to an immigration system based on "merit", and praised populist Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, saying the former law professor is in his post nearly entirely because of "illegal immigration". "My administration is working hard to pass border security legislation, improved vetting and establish a merit-based immigration system, which the United States needs very, very importantly, very badly", he said.

In the opening remarks of his press conference with Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte, President Trump doubled down and said he had "no problem" shutting down the government to get what he wants on immigration policy.

Coulter called Trump's wall promise a "secret weapon", if he would just go full force in deploying it.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Capitol Hill after the meeting with Trump: "The president's willing to be patient to make sure that we get what we need so that we can get that done".

"If we don't get border security".

In the past also, Trump has favoured a merit-based immigration system which, according to him, would attract the best and the brightest from across the world to the US.




And on Iran, Mr. Trump said that he would be willing to meet with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in light of other "great" meetings with known adversaries including Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

"We're the laughing stock of the world", the president said.

Johnson added that he didn't think a shutdown would be "helpful" to Republicans in the November elections, "so let's try and avoid it".

McConnell, asked about a shutdown during a Kentucky radio interview, said it was not going to happen.

The majority Democratic San Diego City Council, in a 3 to 1 vote last week, directed city officials to draft an ordinance requiring contractors competing for city projects to disclose any past and present work, as well as planned bids, on parts of Trump's planned border wall.

Both chambers will have a short window to act before government funding expires at midnight September 30. McConnell cancelled most of the Senate's recess to give senators time to work on the annual spending bills that fund government operations. Each time congressional leaders have reached a broad bipartisan agreement on spending, he has expressed anger that it does not include money for the wall and threatened to torpedo the deal. "So we ought to be disturbed, and I'm disturbed by these allegations".

House Republicans released a spending bill this month that provides $5 billion next year to build Trump's wall, a plan he supports.

Late Monday, Grassley and the Judiciary panel's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, sent a letter asking the inspectors general of the Homeland Security and Health and Human Services departments to investigate news organization's reports of abuse of immigrants at detention centers.

But the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting migrants entering the USA without authorization, and its separation of thousands of children from their parents, has drawn election-year criticism from both parties.

Durbin's demand will likely be ignored, and Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton quickly issued a statement saying Nielsen is "doing the job she was nominated, confirmed and sworn to do" and said "the obstructionists in Congress" should pass laws protecting USA borders.

Committee Chairman Charles Grassley says Trump's crackdown on people illegally crossing the border from Mexico was well-intentioned but has had unintended consequences.

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