Washington, Dec 13 (EFE).- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump of being an “obstacle” to attempts to keep the government open after Dec. 21, the day on which the funding for various branches of the administration runs out.
“There is strong bipartisan support to keep government open and the only obstacle is the president,” said Pelosi during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
The Democratic leader said that closing down the government is a “drastic measure,” especially “when Congress goes on vacation” for Christmas.
Trump threatened on Tuesday to paralyze the government for lack of funds if the budget to be approved this month by Congress does not include the money he wants – $5 billion – to begin building the wall on the border with Mexico.
Trump’s remarks were televised during a heated discussion in the Oval Office with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer and Pelosi attended the meeting with a suggestion to include $1.3 billion for increased border security in the budget, but they showed absolutely no interest in the construction of the wall.
At Thursday’s press conference, Pelosi questioned whether Trump understood “what it means” to close the government and cited the substantial losses to the US economy during the last long shutdown of the government in 2013, during the presidency of Barack Obama.
Congress must approve a budget bill by Dec. 21 to maintain funding for portions of the government, including the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Justice, Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development.