Donald Trump called for bipartisan agreement on border security including funding for his proposed wall along the Mexican border on Friday. The president tweeted that "after 40 years of talk," it was "time for action."
Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major Border Security package, which will include funding for the Wall. After 40 years of talk, it is finally time for action. Fix the Border, for once and for all, NOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2018
A day earlier, the president threatened to temporarily close the entire border between the US and Mexico amid fears that an approaching Central American migrant caravan could lead to strife along the border area. Trump emphasized that US troops would be allowed to use "lethal force" if necessary to deal with some of the "tremendously dangerous" people in the migrant caravan, who he said have already engaged in mass violence in Mexico.
Trump has pressed his Republican allies in Congress to secure at least $5 billion for the border wall initiative to live up to a campaign promise he made in 2016. However, House Democrats, engaged in an internal political struggle over who will lead the House of Representatives come January, are unlikely to accept the proposed funding demands, according to Politico. A partial government shutdown can be triggered if Trump decides not to sign a border security funding bill which does not include the $5 billion for the border wall.
Trump allies earlier lobbied for up to $25 billion in funding for the wall, proposing to pay for it by cutting benefits for undocumented immigrants and fining people who come across the border illegally. On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the border wall to continue enjoying access to US markets. Mexican authorities refused to take the idea seriously.
Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in elections earlier this month, with Republicans maintaining control of the Senate. The split Congress is expected to result in legislative setbacks for Trump and the Republicans. After the elections, Trump proposed bipartisan cooperation on a series of issues of mutual interest, including criminal justice reform, which Trump also tweeted about on Friday.
Really good Criminal Justice Reform has a true shot at major bipartisan support. @senatemajldr Mitch McConnell and @senchuckschumer have a real chance to do something so badly needed in our country. Already past, with big vote, in House. Would be a major victory for ALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2018