U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a press conference with Baltic leaders in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Chris Kleponis/Pool via Bloomberg)

Trump Doubles Down on Threat to Shut Government Over Border Wall

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump vowed to press for a government shutdown to win funding for a border wall regardless of the political consequences amid fears among Republican lawmakers that a shutdown before the November elections could damage the party.

“I don’t care what the political ramifications are,” Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Our immigration laws and border security have been a complete and total disaster for decades, and there is no way that the Democrats will allow it to be fixed without a Government Shutdown.”

He added in another tweet that a government shutdown “is a very small price to pay.”

The statements doubled down on threats he made in tweets over the weekend and at a news conference Monday at the White House. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, influential in Republican circles, responded by branding the gambit “Trump’s Lose-the-House Strategy.”

Republicans in Congress are planning to delay a fight over the president’s border wall until after the November election.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are sticking with their strategy of completing full-year funding bills for most agencies before the Oct. 1 start of the next fiscal year. They say they’ll wait until later to seek $5 billion for the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The two leaders met with Trump last Wednesday and later said the president was on board with their plan -- leaving aides to wonder why Trump appears to be contradicting that strategy.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.