WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump doubled down on threats to shut down the government in a heated exchange with Democratic congressional leaders at the White House Tuesday.
- Partial shutdown if government not funded by December 21
- President wants $5 billion to fund border wall expansion
- Democrats urge Trump to accept bipartisan deal
- PREVIOUS STORY: Lawmakers Once again Hit (Border) Wall Over Govt. Funding
Trump said he would be "proud to shut down the government" over $5 billion in funding to expand the border wall between Mexico and the United States.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told the president and Vice President Mike Pence, in front of reporters, that there were proposals with bipartisan support right now in Congress that could pass if the president would accept it.
"We have a proposal that Democrats and Republicans will support, do a (continuing resolution), that won't shut down the government, and we urge you to take it," Schumer told the president.
"If it doesn't have good border security, I won't take it," the president said.
"It has very good border security," Schumer responded.
Schumer and incoming House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the president the proposals included the same level of funding for border security that they offered last year. The president touted earlier in the meeting that his administration had done great things for border security.
"You're bragging about what has been done — " Schumer said.
"By us," the president interjected.
"We want to do the same thing we did last year, this year. That's all," Schumer said.
The government will go into partial shutdown if a deal is not reached by December 21.
Congress still needs to approve funding for the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.
Republicans could easily pass a bill in the House, but they would need several Democrats to pass a bill in the Senate.
But the president is insistent on funding for the border wall being part of a government funding bill. During the meeting, Trump insisted the border wall would make things more secure.
"When you have walls, Chuck, it's effective," Trump said to Schumer. "When you don't, it's not."
Pelosi responded that the border wall had less to do with security and more to do with Trump's campaign promises.
"I told the President as I told him over and over again," Pelosi said after the meeting, "This new Congress will be different from the Congress we have now."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.