An impending fight over President Donald Trump's proposed southern border wall could result in another government shutdown.
Since the House has already adjourned for the summer, representatives will have 11 legislative days in September to avoid a government shutdown prior to the midterm elections. The House of Representatives approved a spending package recently that would allocate $1.6 billion to the wall; the vote was mostly split along party lines. The Senate has yet to vote on the question.
Trump tweeted Sunday morning that he was "willing" to shut down the government if the Democrats blocked spending for his immigration policies:
I would be willing to "shut down" government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
As usual with Trump's tweets, it is unclear whether this was a serious threat or just a passing thought while his phone was handy.
Trump made the border wall a pillar of his presidential campaign, but at the time insisted that Mexico would foot the bill for the project. Just weeks before his inauguration in 2017, Republican leaders in Congress revealed that the wall would actually be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, not the Mexico. This prompted Trump to tweet a slight revision to his campaign promise, asserting that the funds would actually be "paid back by Mexico later."
One report says the wall would require an estimated $18 billion over the next 10 years. Maintenance costs would eat up an additional $48.3 billion during that decade decade. And these estimates largely depend on what the Cato Institute has called "unrealistically cheap construction costs."