GOP Might Cut Disaster Relief To Help Fund Border Wall

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This past Sunday, the Mexican foreign council issued a statement in response to Trump's wall tweets, reiterating the country's choice to decline wall payment "under any circumstances", and that drug trafficking and related crime are a "shared problem".

While the Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 67% of Republicans - and 76% of Democrats - think the government should achieve its policy goals without a shutdown, if it came down to it, 51% of Republicans said they would support a government shutdown over border wall funding. The damage caused by the hurricane has left a lot of people in dire need of help and Mexico has offered by sending its soldiers over the border. "This determination is not part of a Mexican negotiating strategy, but a principle of national sovereignty and dignity", the statement said.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have passed a budget that includes $1.6 billion for the wall, an opening ante in a process that could stretch years and cost tens of billions more.

Responding to a reporter's question, Trump made it clear that the US Government will either terminate or renegotiate the NAFTA agreement with Mexico.

Speaking during a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto at the White House, Trump reiterated his idea that even if the United States has to pay for the wall up front, Mexico would eventually foot the bill.

One leading House conservative said Friday that he could support a short-term bill to fund the government after September 30 and delay the fight over wall funding until December. He predicted a border wall will "stop much of the drugs" flowing into the USA from Mexico. "The wall is needed from the standpoint of security". So we need the wall, it's imperative.

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If Congress takes this approach, Trump would be forced to shut down the government and deny relief to hurricane victims just to show he won't budge on the wall. However, President Trump's administration is yet to accept Mexico's offer for help.

At a rally last week in Phoenix, Trump told supporters, "If we have to close down our government, we're building that wall", and that "one way or the other, we're going to get that wall".

On Monday the president struck a less combative tone.

"You're going to see very rapid action from Congress - certainly from the president", he added.

Trump argued over and over, though, that his pet project will serve as a deterrent for narco-traffickers. But Tillerson, meeting with Mexico's top diplomat, said he wanted to thank the country nonetheless. The lack of an immediate US acceptance of the help prompted speculation that the Trump administration was snubbing the neighbor that Trump once accused of sending drugs, criminals and rapists into the U.S.

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