White House says Trump shutdown threat if wall isn’t funded is serious

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The White House isn’t walking back President Donald Trump’s threat of a government shutdown over his promised Southern border wall.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tells reporters traveling aboard Air Force Once that Trump “has made no secret” that getting the wall built is a priority. She says he’s “looking forward” to working with Congress to get it done.

Trump threatened a standoff on the issue during a rally Tuesday night, saying, “If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday he doesn’t think a shutdown is “necessary.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also warned against a shutdown over the border security issue.

“If the President pursues this path, against the wishes of both Republicans and Democrats, as well as the majority of the American people, he will be heading towards a government shutdown which nobody will like and which won’t accomplish anything,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.

In the current politically polarized environment — when Trump is battling Republicans on the Hill as hard as he is Democrats — it’s highly uncertain if a government shutdown can be avoided. But GOP leaders on the Hill have made clear their desire to avoid the potentially politically damaging outcome.

The House has already passed a spending bill with funding for the wall. But the measure faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where Democrats and moderates have greater sway.