At a rally Saturday night in Washington, Michigan, President Donald Trump suggested that he’d be willing to force a government shutdown during the next round of budget talks in September if Congress continued to stall funding for a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Speaking to a large crowd about an hour outside of Detroit — in an area of the state once heavily dependent on the auto industry to survive — Trump talked up his administration’s progress in righting “disastrous trade deals,” and reviving American industry, according to local media. He also took credit, in large part, for several major foreign policy advancements, including a tentative peace between North and South Korea, inked just this week.
But recognizing the crowd at his Michigan rally was similar to those crowds that joined him on the campaign trail, Trump quickly pivoted to border security, claiming Congress had abrogated its duty to the American people by refusing to fund a border wall in full and without reservation.
If Congress didn’t correct its course, Trump said, he’ll block further attempts to fund the government.
“We need security. We need the wall,” Trump announced. “We come up again on September 28th, and if we don’t get border security, we’ll have no choice. We’ll close down the country because we need border security.”
“Nobody in the first year of office has done what we’ve done,” he continued. “Regulations, tax cuts, judges, you look at what we’ve done, nobody has done what we’ve done. … After years of rebuilding other countries, we’re finally going to rebuild our country. It’s about time.”
The last budget package cost American taxpayers a whopping $1.3 trillion, but only provided provisional funding for Trump’s border wall — not the $25 billion or so that the administration had requested, so that the wall could be funded through construction.
The Administration hasn’t allowed that to slow progress, however. The United States Customs and Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security have already narrowed down the number of bids to build the wall, and prototypes are going up in the southern California desert.