President Trump said last Thursday he'd be OK with a government shutdown if he doesn't get the funding he wants on the US-Mexico border wall, and several days later, he hasn't changed his mind. With just over a week before Congress' Dec. 7 deadline to finish up its funding packages, Trump told Politico on Tuesday he's "totally willing" for the government to close up shop if he doesn't get bill approval on the $5 billion he's seeking—and that's just for the wall itself. "The number is larger for border security," he noted. The president added he was "firm" on his position, though Politico points out Trump "has made similar threats before, only to abandon his negotiating red lines."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed back on Trump's figure Tuesday night, tweeting that Dems and the GOP "have a months-old agreement in the Senate. $1.6B for border security, NOT a concrete wall or increases in detention beds or ICE agents. We should stick to this agreement. If POTUS interferes, he is responsible for a shutdown." Some liberals, including former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, aren't happy Schumer is even willing to offer that. Trump called the border issue a "total winner" for the GOP, though he stressed he doesn't "do anything … just for political gain." The president also touched on the wider issue of immigration, saying he has a "big heart" when it comes to Dreamers. "I want to be able to keep them. But if the court rules properly, there will be no problem with DACA and we'll get everything solved." (A recent ruling on DACA.)