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President Trump threatens to close border if Democrats don't fund wall

President Trump threatens to close border if Democrats don't fund wall

In a burst of early morning tweets on Friday, Trump said the alternative to funding his controversial wall project would be a total separation from Mexico - including making U.S. vehicle companies pull out their factories based on the other side of the frontier. Trump has signaled he welcomes the fight as he heads toward his own bid for re-election in 2020.

The president, who had already scrapped a Christmas visit to his Florida golf resort has also "cancelled his plans for New Year's", his incoming chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said on Fox News.

As talks with Schumer ground to a stop and almost 800,000 federal workers wonder how long they might be going without paychecks, White House officials have slowly turned their public relations efforts toward Pelosi. No moves were made to end the continuing impasse, which has left hundreds of thousands of federal workers either on unpaid leave or not knowing when they'll be paid.

About 25 percent of the federal government has been shut down since Saturday, with roughly 800,000 workers affected, including an estimated 350,000 who are on furlough at home. Also running short on money: the Smithsonian Institution, which said its museums and galleries popular with visitors and locals in the capital will close starting midweek if the partial shutdown drags on.

The effects to the public of the impasse grew as the Environmental Protection Agency, which had the money to function a week longer than some agencies, implemented its shutdown plan at midnight Friday night. "I'm not sure it would have prevented a shutdown, but these government shutdowns are not an ideal way to function".

Then there's the possibility that the partial shutdown continues until Democratic leadership decides, if ever, to go ahead and cut a deal for the $5 billion in requested wall funding. Democrats said the White House offered $2.5 billion for border security, but that Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told Vice President Mike Pence it wasn't acceptable.

Fox News has confirmed that Pelosi, the House speaker-designate, is vacationing in Kona, Hawaii, and was seen there Thursday as well as Friday morning.

"My gut was that (Schumer) was really interested in doing a deal and coming to some sort of compromise".

He suggested that Pelosi was shying away from any deal because "she cannot be seen by her party as being weak on negotiating with Donald Trump". "She can not be seen by her party as being weak on negotiating with Donald Trump". "I'm not going to tell you what it is", Mulvaney said.

Post-holiday, partial government shutdown to gain impact
You don't know me, but my grandfather was a game warden in Montana and we spent our vacations going to our 2 national parks. The shutdown started Saturday after funding lapsed for nine Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies.

Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer, soon-to-be House Majority Leader, slammed the White House approach.

"Could the White House have handled this better?"

Pelosi's spokesman, Drew Hammill, said in a statement Friday that Democrats "are united against the President's immoral, ineffective and expensive wall - the wall that he specifically promised that Mexico would pay for".

Trump urged the GOP senators to use the "nuclear option" during the last meeting of the US Senate prior to Christmas, but they decided not to follow his advice, which led to a partial government shutdown.

"We sat down with (Chuck) Schumer and gave him a number below five".

The House and the Senate convened for just minutes on Thursday before gaveling closed until next week. The Senate bill contains $1.3 billion for border security excluding any concrete wall.

Trump has threatened to close the border in October and November over a caravan of about 4,000 people from Central America who were traveling to the border. "We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries - taking advantage of USA for years!" He also threatened to cut off US aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, among countries he deems have not done enough to combat illegal immigration.

Asked about Trump's border-closing threat, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters it was an internal US government matter.

His tweets are the president's first public comment about the deaths of two children, an eight-year-old boy named Felipe Gomez Alonzo and a seven-year-old girl named Jakelin Caal, who were taken into custody with their parents after attempting a risky crossing into the United States at the Mexico border.

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