U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the partial shutdown of the federal government was going to last until his demand for funds to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is met.
The U.S. government partially shut down on Saturday, and there is not yet any sign of tangible efforts to reopen agencies closed by a political impasse over Trump s demand for border wall funds.
“I can t tell you when the government is going to reopen,” Trump said, speaking after a Christmas Day video conference with U.S. troops serving abroad. “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.”
He added: “If you don t have that (the wall), then we re just not opening.”
Funding for about a quarter of federal programs - including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Agriculture - expired at midnight on Friday. Without a deal to break the impasse, the shutdown is likely to stretch into the new year.
Building the wall was one of Trump s most frequently repeated campaign promises, but Democrats are vehemently opposed to it.