During a White House press conference held jointly with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on July 30, President Trump said that if Congress refuses to appropriate adequate funding for border security, he would have no problem with a government shutdown.
When Saagar Enjeti, the White House correspondent for the Daily Caller, asked the president, “Are you saying that you would be willing to shut the government down in September if it does not fully fund $25 billion worth of your border wall and also deliver all of the immigration priorities that you listed in your tweet?” — and if Trump was “leaving some room for negotiation there” — Trump replied, in part:
I’ll always leave room for negotiation….
We need border security…. Border security includes the wall, but it includes many other things. We have to end the lottery. We have to end the chain. The chain is like a disaster. You bring one person in, and you end up with 32 people. We have to end these horrible catch-and-release principles, where you catch somebody, you take their name, and you release them. You don’t even know who they are. And then they’re supposed to come back to a court case, where they want us to hire thousands of judges…. And we have to change our laws, and we do that through Congress.
So I would certainly be willing to close it down to get it done…. I would be certainly willing to consider a shutdown if we don’t get proper border security.
When Enjeti followed up by asking Trump if $25 billion was “a red line” for him, the president said, “I have no red line, unlike President Obama. I just want great border security. Okay?”
A statement posted by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on July 18 said,
The Administration strongly supports the inclusion of $5 billion for border wall construction and associated technology in the Homeland Security appropriations bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives. This funding is critical to the Administration’s top priority, securing the Nation’s borders. It will enable the construction of over 200 miles of new physical barrier along the Southern border, including associated surveillance technology and access roads.
Government funding is currently set to expire at the end of the day on September 30.