World

More Americans blame Trump for govt shutdown

NEW YORK A growing proportion of Americans blame US President Donald Trump for a partial government shutdown that will cut off pay cheques to federal workers this week, though Republicans mostly support his refusal to approve a Budget without taxpayer dollars for the US-Mexico border wall, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

The national opinion poll, which ran from Jan 1 to Jan 7, found that 51 per cent of adults believe Mr Trump "deserves most of the blame" for the shutdown, which entered its 18th day on Tuesday. That is up 4 percentage points from a similar poll that ran from Dec 21 to 25.

Another 32 per cent blame congressional Democrats for the shutdown and 7 per cent blame congressional Republicans, according to the poll. Those percentages are mostly unchanged from the last poll.

Mr Trump has promised to keep the government partially closed until Congress approves funding for an expanded barrier along the border.

He has asked Congress for nearly US$6 billion (S$8 billion) for the wall.

Democratic leaders in Congress have refused to approve funding for additional border fencing, saying that it is an ineffective way to secure the border.

The poll found that 41 per cent of the public supports building additional border fencing, down 12 points from a similar poll that ran in the first week of 2015, as opposition doubled among Democrats.

It also found that only 35 per cent of adults support a congressional spending Bill that includes funding for the wall, and 25 per cent support Mr Trump's decision to keep the government closed until Congress approves funding for it.

SUPPORT

Republicans, however, strongly support Mr Trump's pursuit of an expanded border wall.

They have consistently ranked immigration as their top concern for the country.

Some 77 per cent of Republicans said in the most recent poll that they want additional border fencing, and 54 per cent said they support Mr Trump shutting down the government until Congress approves funding for the wall.- REUTERS

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