World

Trump willing to put Mexico wall on hold as government shutdown looms

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump indicated on Monday an openness to delaying his push to secure funds for his promised border wall with Mexico, potentially eliminating a sticking point as lawmakers worked to avoid a looming shutdown of the federal government.

Mr Trump, in a private meeting with conservative media outlets, said he may wait until Republicans begin drafting the budget blueprint for the fiscal year that starts on Oct 1 before seeking government funds for building a wall along the US-Mexico border, the White House confirmed.

Mr Trump, whose approval ratings have slid since he took office, is facing a Friday deadline for Congress to pass a spending bill funding the government through September or risk marking his 100th day in office on Saturday with a government shutdown.

Although Republicans control both chambers of Congress, a funding bill will need 60 votes to clear the 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold 52 seats, meaning at least some Democrats will have to get behind it.

If no spending measure covering April 29 to Sept 30 is in place before 12.01am on Saturday (Washington time), government funding will halt, and hundreds of thousands of the country's several million federal employees will be temporarily laid off. - AFP

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