President Trump speaking to reporters Tuesday in the Oval Office had a Christmas message for Democrats – the government is going to remain partially shut down “until we have a wall [or] fence.”
Trump also said that he will be going to the border in Texas for a “groundbreaking” ceremony for a portion of the project at the end of January.
“While we’re fighting over funding, we’re also building, and it’s my hope to have this done, completed, all 500 to 550 miles, to have it either renovated or brand new by Election Day,” he said.
Democrats remain opposed to approving any additional funding the border wall as part of a new government spending package — and plan to stand their ground once the party takes control of the House next month.
The White House warned over the weekend that the shutdown standoff could extend into the new year, and President Trump on Tuesday made clear he’s not planning to budge either.
“I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open,” Trump said. “I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they want to call it.
“It’s a barrier from people pouring into our country,” he added. “It’s a barrier from drugs.”
The president also accused Democrats of
“Many of those workers have said to me, communicated, ‘stay out until you get the funding for the wall.’ These federal workers want the wall,” Trump told reporters.’
Trump said that the wall would be effective in keeping illegal immigrants from entering the U.S.
“There may be a case of an Olympic champion who may get over the wall, but for the most part, you’re not going to be able to do it,” Trump quipped.
Meanwhile, Democrats on Christmas Eve, said the “president wanted the shutdown, but he seems not to know how to get himself out of it.”
According to budget director Mick Mulvaney, The White House presented a counteroffer over the weekend that is between president Trump’s $5.7 billion price tag and the $1.3 billion Democrats have offered.
However, Chuck Schumer’s office said the parties remained “very far apart.”
President Trump is currently at the White House, while his family is in Florida for the Christmas. He spoke to reporters Tuesday after he offered greetings to American troops stationed around the world.
“It’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country, but other than that I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas,” he said.
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