At a raucous political rally in Phoenix on Aug. 22, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to shut down the federal government if Congress refuses to send him a spending bill that funds the U.S.-Mexico border wall on which he staked his presidential campaign, Bloomberg News reports.
Trump, a Republican, laid the blame on Democrats for the lack of construction money. Democrats responded, in essence, “make our day.” With funding for the government running out Sept. 30, the U.S. facing a separate deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit, and Congress not due back from recess until Sept. 5, the next six weeks could get very bumpy.
1. What happened to Mexico paying for the wall?
That’s been Trump’s promise, but it’s increasingly apparent that it’s mostly political rhetoric. In July, a leaked transcript of a January phone call between Trump and Mexico’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, showed that Trump recognized he had painted himself into a corner over the wall’s funding, as he implored Pena Nieto to stop saying publicly that Mexico won’t pay for it.
2. So what did the president just say?
“If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” Trump toldthousands of supporters gathered in Phoenix for his address. “One way or the other, we’re going to get that wall.”
3. Is this a new threat?
No. He also made the threat in a May 2 tweet, which came after he had just taken the border wall off the table to strike a deal with Congress to fund the U.S. for another five months.
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