Government spending

Trump "totally" willing to shut down government over border wall fight

Donald Trump pointing at the media
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told Politico in an interview on Tuesday night that he's "totally" willing to shut down the government if he doesn't get $5 billion approved for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, calling the issue "a total winner" politically.

Why it matters: The fight over border wall funding has been a long time coming, but Trump has backed down before after threatening a shutdown over the summer and before the midterm elections. Senate Democratic leaders have said they would approve $1.6 billion for border security, but GOP sources told Politico they think Democrats "will want to strike a deal so they start 2019 with a fresh spending slate." The fight comes as the administration has shifted its focus to the caravans of Central American migrants seeking asylum at the border.

Report: Trump wants to cut deficit but still demands pricey spending

President Donald Trump at a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House.
Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Ten current and former White House and congressional officials told the Washington Post that President Trump has been urging his top advisers to cut the growing federal deficit, even as he tries to implement pricey programs, like a massive infrastructure package.

The big picture: 2010's Tea Party wave, which propelled many budget-conscious Republicans to power in Washington, was prompted by increased federal spending and concerns of big government that have long been central issues for the GOP. But Trump’s contradictions reflect how conflicted the party has become — even as the Congressional Budget Office said earlier this year that the deficit will approach $1 trillion by the end of 2019's fiscal year.

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