Asked on Sunday during a press conference outside the White House whether there is legitimacy to concerns that he will hold up a government spending deal in order to trigger a shutdown later this month, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens,” before pivoting to a rant against Democrats.
“All they can do is talk about one phone call made to the president of Ukraine that was perfect,” he said. “It was perfect. It was a perfect phone call. And they’re hanging their hat on this one phone call and you know what? The Republican Party has never been so unified. That includes senators. That includes House. They’ve never been so unified.”
Pressed to confirm that no shutdown would occur, Trump declined to offer any assurances.
“Depends on what the negotiation [is],” he said. “I wouldn’t commit to anything.”
Last week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) raised the possibility that Trump could once again bring the government to a grinding halt, stating that he is “increasingly worried” about the prospect.
“I hope and pray he won’t want to cause another government shutdown because it might be a diversion,” he told reporters during his weekly briefing.
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) doesn’t predict that scenario will ultimately play out.
“They don’t care about shutdowns because they don’t believe in government, however I do think that they learned a lesson from the last shutdown since it didn’t do them very well,” she said Friday, Bloomberg News reported.
The government’s temporary funding measure expires on Nov. 21, meaning lawmakers have until then to either extend it or enact spending bills for the fiscal year, which started in October. Without a solution, a number of federal operations would freeze.
Still at issue this year is Trump’s push for border wall funding ― the same demand resulted in a 35-day shutdown during the last fiscal year. The crisis ended once the president agreed to forgo the money and sign a spending bill without it.