President Trump on Friday threatened to “close the Southern Border entirely” if Democrats do not agree to provide money to “finish” building a wall on the Mexican border.
Trump made the threat in a tweet on the seventh day of a partial government shutdown that entered its seventh day on Friday with no end in sight.
The shutdown began on Saturday after Democrats rejected demands from Trump that $5 billion be included for the wall in a measure to keep the government open.
“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” the president tweeted.
He also criticized past presidents and Congresses over the nation’s current immigration laws.
“Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!”
We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with. Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2018
Trump and Democrats in Congress have been battling over who is to blame for the government shutdown, with the White House stepping up its efforts to shift blame to Democrats.
Democrats are confident that Trump will get the blame from voters because of an Oval Office meeting earlier this month in which Trump said he would embrace a government shutdown that was triggered over the wall.
He also said he would not blame Democrats for a shutdown that started over wall funding, though he has since shifted from that stance.
The shutdown has left 800,000 federal employees furloughed or forced to work without pay through the holidays.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday found more people blame Trump for the shutdown than Democrats. In the poll, 33 percent blamed Democrats in Congress for the shutdown, compared to 47 percent who blamed Trump.
Another seven percent blamed Republicans in Congress, while 12 percent blamed “other.”
Just 35 percent of those surveyed said they wanted Congress to fund the wall.
The shutdown is not expected to end until 2019 at this stage.
On Thursday, the Senate adjourned until Monday, when it is scheduled to hold a pro forma session.
Democrats will retake the House majority on Jan. 3, and could seek to pass legislation on that day to re-open the government.
What’s not clear is how the Senate would handle such a measure. The Senate will remain in GOP hands next year, with Republicans actually enjoying a larger majority.