SENATE SHUTDOWN LOOMS – Trump says Senate unlikely to approve wall funds


Trump had summoned Senate Republicans to the White House, to push for his wall funding before they took up procedural votes on whether to consider a bill passed by the House of Representatives granting $5 billion for the wall. But afterwards he said there was a good chance the bill would not clear the Senate and that a shutdown was likely.

Trump’s border wall was a key campaign promise in the 2016 election, when he said it would be paid for by Mexico, and he sees it as a winning issue for his 2020 re-election campaign.

The threat of a U.S. government shutdown, which would leave thousands of federal workers idled at Christmas, continued to fuel investor anxieties on Friday over the trajectory of global economic growth as world stocks extended a steep sell-off.

The showdown added to tensions in Washington as lawmakers also grappled with Trump’s sudden move to pull troops from Syria, which prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign and furthered concerns over the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election that Trump won.