World

Trump's wall demands may shut down US government

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump pressed for the funding of a Mexico border wall on Sunday as a looming spending showdown in Congress threatens to shut down the US government on the president's 100th day in office.

Building the wall was Mr Trump's signature campaign promise and the White House appeared determined to get Congress to approve a down payment as part of a bigger bill to keep the US government funded.

On Twitter, Mr Trump insisted Mexico will pay for the wall "but at a later date so we can get started early".

"The Democrats don't want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members," he wrote.

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney said the administration is prepared to make concessions to Democrats on health care reform in order to get the wall money.

But if the wall isn't funded, will the president veto the larger spending bill, risking a government shutdown on Saturday - coincidentally Mr Trump's 100th day in office?

"Don't know yet," Mr Mulvaney said on Fox News Sunday. "We are asking for our priorities and importantly we are offering to give Democrats some of their priorities as well."

The spectre of a government shutdown has often loomed over US budget negotiations. The threat has most often been averted - but has come to pass several times, most recently for 16 days in 2013 amid a dispute over funding for Mr Barack Obama's signature health care reforms.

The fight this time comes as the White House is eager to show off Mr Trump's accomplishments at the 100-day mark.

He is planning a speech to the nation and an "America First" rally on Saturday to highlight his successes, accompanied by digital content.

- AFP

donald trumpBUDGETpolitics