Republicans anxious about keeping control of Congress think it is a bad idea but President Donald Trump still says he is willing to close the government over border security issues, including money he wants to build a promised US-Mexico border wall. Trump tweeted on Sunday July 29th, “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!” He concluded, “We need great people coming into our Country!”
Trump has pledged to campaign aggressively, starting after Labor Day, to help Republicans retain control of the House and Senate but GOP lawmakers do not appear to be rallying to his side on this not-so-new idea. The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said on July 29th on CBS' "Face the Nation" that it would be unhelpful to shut down the government just before elections "so let's try and avoid it."
According to AP, Trump campaigned on the promise of building a wall to deter illegal immigration and making Mexico pay for it. Mexico has refused. Trump has obtained some wall money from Congress, and likely will get more, though the total is short of the $25 billion he has requested.
He also wants changes to legal immigration, including scrapping a visa lottery programme. In addition, Trump wants to end the practice of releasing immigrants caught entering the country illegally on condition they show up for court hearings, along with shifting the US immigration system to one based more on individual merit and less on family ties. Democrats and some Republicans have objected to those proposals.
Both chambers will have a short window to act before government funding expires at midnight on September 30th.