This week, President Donald Trump and one of his top advisers indicated the White House might risk a government shutdown in order to force Democrats’ hand on funding for a southern border wall.
The comments came just after Democrats took the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections — effectively narrowing the window of opportunity for Trump to leverage his Republican majority in Congress.
During an interview with The Daily Caller, Trump said he would see how the situation played out but thought the government could quickly build the wall:
“I’ll have to see how it plays out. But I may very well be willing to shut down the government.
I think it’s horrible what’s happening and, you know, building the wall, it’s in smaller stages, we can build it very quickly. I’m building the wall in smaller stages and we moved the military there, we put up barbed wire, we did all sorts of things. You have to have a barrier. You have to have a barrier.”
As recently as Friday, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway similarly said that Trump kept all options open in deciding how to negotiate border wall funding.
“The president is keeping all options open,” she told “Fox & Friends.” The president could easily veto a spending package that doesn’t include wall funding and set off yet another potential shutdown at the beginning of December.