Government will not reopen until we have the Mexican border wall: Trump to US troops

WION Web Team Washington, DC, USA Dec 25, 2018, 09.57 PM(IST)

President Trump speaks to US troops stationed abroad via video conferencing from the Oval Office in Washington. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Trump has demanded $ 5 billion for the Mexican border wall but the Democrats have signed up for $1.3 billion riling the president

President Trump said today the US government won't open till he gets approval for the Mexican border wall.

The US governmental agencies have been shutdown for the past four days with no breakthrough in sight after Democrats failed to convince the US president to pass a legislation to keep the government working.

"I can't tell you when the government is going to reopen," Trump said while speaking on Christmas Day via video conferencing with US troops serving abroad.

×

The US government has been partially shutdown since Saturday as Democrats have openly sparred with the US president over the Mexican border wall, a key campaign issue for the president which he is determined to fulfil.

"It's Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos," Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement as the shutdown dragged on. Trump, in fact, cancelled plans to go to his Florida resort for Christmas because of the shutdown.

Trump told the troops that he would visit that stretch of the border "at the end of January for the start of construction."

"It's going to be built, hopefully rapidly," he added. "It's going to all work out," the US president said.

Trump has demanded $ 5 billion for the Mexican border wall but the Democrats have signed up for $1.3 billion riling the president who is determined to get the border wall funding.

"I can tell you it's not going to reopen until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it. I'll call it whatever they want, but it's all the same thing. It's a barrier from people pouring into the country, from drugs," the president said, adding,"If you don't have that (the wall), then we're just not opening." 

Trump's budget director and White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had said earlier that the White House had made a counter-offer to Democrats on border security while media reports said vice-president Mike Pence had proposed $2.1 billion in funding in a meeting with Schumer earlier.

However, no breakthrough seems on sight as the government shutdown enters the fifth day on Wednesday.