DONALD Trump says he would be “proud” to shut down the US Government for months or even YEARS after rivals refused to fund his Mexico wall.
Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader, revealed his plan at a press conference and said the President was being held “hostage” over the border.
Trump threatened to shut down the US government ‘for years’ if his Mexico wall didn’t get the funding[/caption]
Trump later confirmed it, saying: “I did. I did. I did say that. Absolutely, I said that. I don’t think it will, but I am prepared.”
He earlier met speaker Nancy Pelosi and Schumer to negotiate re-opening the government, calling the meeting “very, very productive”.
But he also threatened to call a national emergency to build the wall without legislative approval.
He said: “I can do it, if I want.
Chuck Schumer told reporters after the meeting that Trump had threatened to shut down the government ‘for years’[/caption]
Speaker Pelosi denied progress had been made during talks with the President[/caption]
“We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country. Absolutely. No, we can do it. I haven’t done it. I may do it,’ he said. ‘We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly.”
Trump insisted that the meeting saw “progress” was made — although he wouldn’t say what it was — and that both sides were in agreement on reopening the government as quickly as possible.
As Pelosi left the White House she told reporters the talks were “sometimes contentious”.
Schumer added: “We made a plea to the president once again: don’t hold millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of workers, hostage.
Nancy Pelosi was elected as the House speaker and made it clear the wall would not be funded[/caption]
“Open up the government, and let’s continue the discussions.”
Trump closed the government down on December 22 after the Democrats refused to approve funding for his promised wall.
He has steadfastly refused to compromise on his demands for the funding to build the massive barrier between the US and Mexico.
Last night, the House voted to approve a six-year spending package but the big sticking point was the demand for the £3.95bn ($5bn) to build the wall.
The vote came after the White House threatened to veto the spending bills if Trump didn’t get the billions he wanted.
Donald Trump wants £3.95bn ($5bn) to build his controversial border wall between the US and Mexico[/caption]
However, the Democrats have made it very clear they will not back down saying the wall is “immoral” and “isn’t cost effective”.
New speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “We are not doing a wall. Does anybody have any doubt that we are not doing a wall. So that is that.
“It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the wall is an immorality between countries. It’s an old way of thinking, it isn’t cost effective.”
Trump earlier made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room with border patrol agents to make his case.
“Without a wall you cannot have border security,” he told reporters. “It won’t work.”
He left without taking questions.
Vice President Mike Pence later said “if there’s no wall, there’s no deal” to end the partial government shutdown.
How does the Presidential veto work?
The US Constitution grants the President the sole power to veto – say no – to any bills passed by both houses of Congress.
However, a vetoed bill can still go on to become law if Congress overrides the president’s action – by getting enough votes.
To do that it needs a ‘supermajority’ – which is a vote of two-thirds of the members of both the House and the Senate.
The veto is part of the system of ‘checks and balances’ designed for government by the US’s Founding Fathers.
The President has ten days (excluding Sundays) to sign any bill passed by Congress.
A veto occurs when the President returns the legislation to the house in which it originated, usually with a message explaining the veto.
While he expressed openness to negotiating an end to the shutdown, the wall was a clear sticking point.
“We are here to make a deal, but it’s a deal that’s going to result in achieving real gains. … We will have no deal without a wall,” he said.
Earlier, Pelosi was elected to be the new speaker of the House.
It marks her second stint as speaker after being the first woman ever to hold the job, serving from 2007 until 2011.
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She received 220 votes for speaker, while Republican representative Kevin McCarthy got 192 votes.
The 78-year-old has made clear the House’s Democratic-run committees will conduct in-depth oversight of Trump administration officials.
It’s reported they are likely to try to get the President’s recent tax returns as part of House investigations into his business dealings.
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