Asked if that meant a shut down when the government runs out of funding on Friday, he replied: 'If it comes to it, absolutely'. Trump will have lost much of his leverage by then, as Democrats take the majority in the House, but as he made clear in a Thursday tweet he now sees the value of avoiding an expensive and potentially toxic government closure. They have offered $1.6 billion to cover "border security" exclusive of a wall.
For their part, Democrats are gleeful that Trump will be blamed for the shutdown. During the most recent shutdown in January 2018, the three-day shutdown over the weekend wasn't quite long enough to delay paychecks. Rep. Steny Hoyer - the House minority whip who also represents Maryland's 5th District - said before the House recessed last week that a government shutdown would be "stupid". What portions of that do we really need?
That means only certain agencies would be hit by a shutdown: the departments of transportation, agriculture, housing and urban development, interior, and homeland security, among others. Others would be sent home.
Congress isn't required to pay back pay to furloughed employees, but historically, they have.
An estimated 400,000 federal employees would work without pay and 350,000 would be furloughed, according to a congressional Democratic aide. "The holiday season makes these inquiries especially heart-wrenching".
The spending bills already passed by Congress and signed by Trump will keep some departments operating, including Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
Congress already approved funding this year for about 75 percent of the government's discretionary account for the budget year that began October 1.
Large swaths of the government already are funded through next September, including the USA military and agencies that operate public healthcare, education and veterans' programs.
But speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press, " Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said Trump needs to understand there are not enough votes in either the House or Senate for the $5 billion he's seeking for the wall, a key campaign promise.
Trump, during his 2016 presidential campaign, promised that Mexico would pay for the wall.
Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, in a meeting last week at the White House, suggested keeping funding at its current level, $1.3 billion.
Trump had neither accepted nor rejected the Democrats' proposal as of Friday, according to the Democrats, telling them he would take a look. Charles Schumer of NY promised that President Trump is "not going to get the wall in any form". Republicans were saddled with the blame, but most Americans suffered relatively minor inconveniences like closed parks and delays in processing passport applications.
Building the wall to stop illegal immigration has been a key election plank for President Trump and he has been under pressure from his base to deliver. "I don't think he will, but for the good of this country, I hope he does", he said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos". "But he shouldn't use innocent workers as hostage for his temper tantrum".