Gerry Connolly warns 'delusional' Trump's border closure would be a disaster

The shutdown began on Saturday after Democrats rejected demands from Trump that $5 billion be included for the wall in a measure to keep the government open. They aren't expected in Washington again until the middle of next week.

Mulvaney added of the shutdown: "We do expect this to go on for a while".

Rep. Gerry Connolly on Friday warned President Trump that following through on a threat to close the southern border would be a disaster - both economically and politically.

The shutdown is expected to continue into January after Congressional Democrats refused to fund border security in the new government funding bill.

"We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with".

Days later US authorities dramatically shuttered a border crossing in southern California after hundreds of migrants - part of the "caravan" Trump had roundly condemned - tried to breach a fence from the Mexican city of Tijuana.

The shutdown is idling hundreds of thousands of federal workers and beginning to pinch citizens who count on some public services. The Senate bill contains $1.3 billion for border security excluding any concrete wall. Central Americans are also deeply integrated in the U.S. economy, often performing physically demanding, low-pay jobs in construction, agriculture and other vital sectors.

In the new Congress, Senate Republicans will increase their number of seats to 53 but still will need Democratic support to pass any legislation requiring a 60-vote majority.

But even that may be hard without a compromise because the Senate will remain in Republican hands and Trump's signature will be needed to turn any bill into law.

In a heated televised press conference with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier this month, Trump said he would be proud to own what Pelosi termed the "Trump shutdown", but the White House has since sought to shift the blame to the Democrats.

"I think it's obvious that until the president decides he can sign something - or something is presented to him - that we are where we are", said Sen.

Trump long promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico refuses to do so.

He has also repeatedly threatened to cut off US aid to countries he deems insufficient partners in combating illegal immigration, but has thus far failed to follow through with those threats.

And it is Congress, not the president, which appropriates aid money.


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