Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that border wall funding would “probably” have to wait until after midterms, two days before President Donald Trump weighed in on the issue on Twitter, contradicting McConnell and threatening to push the government in to a shutdown.
On WHAS Radio on Friday, McConnell said that the wall funding issue is “something we do have a disagreement on,” and that it would “probably” have to wait. He also said that a government shutdown is “not going to happen.”
But on Sunday, Trump weighed in on Twitter, expressing his willingness to push the government in to a shutdown should Congress fail to pass his proposed border wall and tougher immigration policy.
“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!” Trump tweeted.
This isn’t the first time that Trump has threatened a government shutdown over his desire for Congress to pass stricter immigration policies. In February, Trump said he would “love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of.” Congress ultimately passed a spending bill that Trump signed, despite his misgivings towards the bill’s content.
In response to Trump’s Sunday tweet, several Republican lawmakers disagreed with his call to shut down the government if there isn’t immigration reform.
Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson said that he doesn’t think a shutdown would be helpful in the November midterm elections, adding that lawmakers should “try to avoid it.”
“I think, hopefully, most of the appropriation bills will actually be passed a little more — a little better prioritization of spending. So I certainly don’t like playing shut down politics,” he said on CBS Sunday.
Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, expressed similar sentiments, adding that the attention on a government shutdown would not help the party.
“We’re going to have a challenging midterm anyway, and I don’t see how putting the attention on shutting down the government when you control the government is going to help you,” he said in an interview.