President Donald Trump raised the possibility of a government shutdown ahead of a meeting with Democrats for a second consecutive week on Wednesday, even as tensions on Capitol Hill appeared to diminish after hard-line House conservatives backed off plans to oppose a short-term stopgap.
“It could happen,” Trump said about a potential shutdown before a White House Cabinet meeting, pointing to Democratic demands on immigration policy. “The Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country.”
“They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime,” he added. “We don’t want to have that. We want to have a great, beautiful, crime-free country.”
Top congressional leaders from both parties are set to meet with the president Thursday at the White House as they seek a deal on lifting spending caps that would allow more funding for the military and non-defense programs. Democrats are also expected to bring up a potential deal on immigration that would include protections for at least 790,000 “dreamers,” immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children.