Trump vows 'very long' government shutdown over border wall

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Last week Trump told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) and the likely next House speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), that he would be "proud" to shoulder the responsibility for a partial shutdown.

Trump this morning threatened a shutdown on Twitter if the Democrats don't agree to his demands.

Trump has tweeted that a government closure could drag on "for a very long time" and he's trying to blame congressional Democrats if no deal is reached on his demand for $5 billion for a border wall with Mexico. "I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I'm going to shut it down for border security".

If the shutdown lasts until the new year, House Democrats, who are set to take the majority on January 3, will have to come to a deal with a Republican president and GOP-controlled Senate on reopening the government.

"The president informed us that he will not sign the bill that came over from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns for border security", outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan said after he and other Republicans met with Trump to try to come to a deal before the holidays.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned senators they may need to return to Washington for a noontime vote on Friday.

The North Carolina Republican said one member who hadn't spoken in the conference in eight years stood up to speak Thursday and that Rep. Virginia Foxx's husband called her from back home to say you've got to get the wall done.

But funding for other agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the Agriculture Department, is set to expire at midnight on Friday.

White House aides told United States media that Trump is inclined to sign the measure.

And Trump is tweeting that the Senate's Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, "should fight for the Wall and Border Security as hard as he fought for anything".

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The Senate had approved a bill late Wednesday that extended existing funds for agencies for seven weeks, punting the funding issue into the next Congress.

"Tonight the House passed a continuing resolution to keep the government open, secure our borders, and provide relief to communities harmed by natural disasters", House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said of the measure sweetened with $7.8 billion in natural-disaster relief.

"We don't use the word "wall" necessarily, but it has to be something special to do the job", Trump said at a farm bill signing at the White House.

But federal programmes on pensions and healthcare will continue to function, as will the military, border patrol, coast guard, federal judiciary, air traffic control and airport security.

President Donald Trump will meet with House Republican lawmakers at noon Thursday to discuss the how to avert a government shutdown amid a dispute over border wall funding. A shutdown would leave a number of federal workers without a paycheck at Christmas.

"We hope they'll step up", she told reporters at the White House. The agencies would have to pare staff down to those deemed "essential" to public safety. This despite all his campaign promises that Mexico would end up paying for such a wall, which Mexico has declined to do.

But Trump reversed course after criticism from conservative allies, insisting he would not sign a bill without wall money.

And Coulter published a column on the Breitbart site, which is popular with conservatives, with this headline: "Gutless President in Wall-Less Country".

On Wednesday, there had appeared to be bipartisan agreement to avoid the shutdown without providing Trump with his border wall money.

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