As Trump Tweets About 'Shutdown,' McConnell Touts 'A Normal Appropriations Process'

By Susan Jones | August 1, 2018 | 6:11am EDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republican leaders hold a news conference on July 31. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - In two tweets on Tuesday, President Trump doubled down on his call to shut down the government if he doesn't get money for "border security," including his long-promised wall.

"I don’t care what the political ramifications are, our immigration laws and border security have been a complete and total disaster for decades, and there is no way that the Democrats will allow it to be fixed without a Government Shutdown," Trump tweeted on his way to Florida.

"Border Security is National Security, and National Security is the long-term viability of our Country. A Government Shutdown is a very small price to pay for a safe and Prosperous America!" he said in a second tweet.

Trump, with his talk of a shutdown, is going where congressional Republicans fear to tread. Democrats always blame Republicans for actual or potential "shutdowns," and at a news conference on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sounded cautious:

Well, I -- I -- I support what the president's trying to do on the wall. Most of my members do, as well and we're trying to go through a normal appropriations process that prevents a big event at the end of the fiscal year, which has become all too common around here.

We've funded in the -- in the Senate the president's initial request. We're going to continue to discuss it with him and hope that in the process here we can achieve what he would like to achieve on the wall and also get these appropriation bills signed into law, which would be quite different from what's happened in the past.

In response to a question about Trump's tweet -- that Democrats will not fix immigration unless the government shuts down -- McConnell said he's hoping to resolve the issue without a crisis:


"We know it's important to him," McConnell said, speaking of Trump's wall. "Most Republicans, including myself, agree that we ought to fund the wall and we're going to try to achieve that in the course of a regular order process. It's all unfolding before you, and hope we don't get to that position (a shutdown) at the end of the fiscal year."

McConnell said he hopes that by the end of August, the Senate will have approved nine of the 12 appropriations bills: "It'll mean that 90 percent of the funding of the federal government from a Senate point of view will be done through the regular order before we get to Labor Day," he said.

"We hope to be able to conference those bills with the House and send the president a series of conference reports covering those nine of 12 appropriation bills early after we get back from the Labor Day weekend break."

At his rally in Florida Tuesday night, President Trump said "we may have to do some pretty drastic things," but he promised that he is going to get the money he wants for his wall. He no longer mentions that Mexico will pay for it.

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