President Trump: I would have no problem doing a shutdown

President Trump says that he would "certainly be willing" to shut down the federal government over border security funding. Standing beside Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the White House, Trump said "strong nations must have strong borders."

"It's time we have proper border security. We're the laughingstock of the world. We have the worst immigration laws anywhere in the world," Trump said.

Trump's comments came after he threatened on Twitter over the weekend to shut down the government if he does not receive funding for his campaign-promised border wall from Congress.

While he spoke specifically about border wall funding on Twitter, Trump on Monday did not take a firm stance on his must-fund priorities. Instead, he simply ticked down a list of border security funding priorities and immigration reforms that he would like to see.

Lawmakers face a Sept. 30 deadline to pass a funding bill and Trump's comments could inflame tensions with GOP leaders, who say they would rather address money for a border wall after the funding deadline passes.

Trump first raised the possibility of a shutdown in a Sunday tweet.

"I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!" he wrote.

Trump’s threat of a shutdown came days after Republican leaders in Congress indicated they would be able to avoid such a political standoff.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) met with Trump at the White House last week to discuss funding the government. Both men appeared to come away assured that they would be able to avoid a shutdown.

“The president’s wiling to be patient to make sure that we get what we need so we can get that done,” Ryan said of the border wall funding last Thursday.

McConnell told WHAS Radio last Friday that he believes wall funding will “probably” have to wait until after the November midterms. However, he asserted that a government shutdown is “not going to happen.”

The two chambers of Congress appear at odds in the meantime over how much funding to provide for the wall.

The House Appropriations Committee approved $5 billion for the wall in its Homeland Security bill last week. However, the Senate’s version of the bill includes $1.6 billion to reinforce existing physical barriers.

A shutdown would loom larger over the November midterm elections, where Republicans are attempting to stave off a Democratic push to retake control of the House and Senate.

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