By Nolan D. McCaskill
December 06, 2017
President Donald Trump signaled Wednesday that Congress could fail to meet its Friday deadline to fund the government, preemptively blaming Democrats who want protections for so-called Dreamers.
“It could happen,” the president said of a possible shutdown. “The Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country. They are looking at shutting down.”
Republicans control both houses of Congress. But Trump blamed Democrats, saying they want “illegal immigrants — in many cases people that we don’t want in our country” — to pour into the U.S., bringing with them “tremendous amounts of crime.”
“We don’t want to have that. We want to have a great, beautiful, crime-free country,” Trump told reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting at the White House. “And we want people coming into our country, but we want them to come on our basis. And that’s why we’re being so careful with our process and our screening.”
The House and Senate have to strike a bipartisan deal by Friday to avert a government shutdown, as Republicans would need eight Democratic senators to pass a spending bill.
Trump will meet with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on Thursday. Democrats are seeking a compromise to extend protections for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers, who are currently protected by an Obama-era program that Trump will end in March.
“The Democrats maybe will want to shut down the country because they want people flowing into our country,” Trump said. “And I want people coming into our country, but I want to vet those people, and I want to vet them very carefully because we don’t wanna have radical Islamic terrorism in this country. And we don’t wanna have crime in this country.”
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