Trump and his aides takes hard line on border wall

"It's a political stunt, an obsession for the president that should not shut down out government".

Congress returns from its break this week with a possible government shutdown looming on Friday.

US President Donald Trump is nearing his 100 day in office, but his approval ratings have plummeted to the lowest level of any president since WWII.

"Don't know yet", Mulvaney said on Fox News yesterday.

Trump tweeted a warning at Democrats on Sunday, saying: "ObamaCare is in serious trouble". But other senior administration officials stopped short of saying the President would press hard for the funding, sending mixed signals as lawmakers approach what is expected to be a busy week.

There was also a federal shutdown under Barack Obama as Republicans tried to delay and defund the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, from signed into law. Trump has announced a rally in Pennsylvania that day.

Ryan addressed that pressure in a conference call Saturday afternoon, in which he told GOP members that while he hoped that they would continue health-care talks, his top priority will be the stopgap spending bill.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump vowed that Mexico would pay for his planned wall, despite public refusals by Mexican officials. Mulvaney says that Democratic negotiators on a massive spending bill need to agree to funding top priorities of President Donald Trump, such as a down payment on a border wall and hiring of additional immigration agents.

Without a deal, funding for the government will run out at midnight on 28 April, Trump's 100th day in office.

During the election campaign, Mr Trump said that Mexico would pay for the building of the almost 3,200km wall.

Democrats, meanwhile, have shown little interest in compromise, particularly on the border wall project.

Durbin said, "The Democrats in the house and the senate are ready to work and cooperate with the White House to keep the government open".

Building the wall was Mr Trump's signature campaign promise, and the White House appeared determined to get Congress to approve a down payment as part of a bigger bill to keep the U.S. government funded.

But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "Democrats do not support the wall. The Dems need big money to keep it going - otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought", Trump tweeted.

There was uncertainty whether Mr Trump would sign a spending bill which did not include the funding for the wall.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said he expects money earmarked in the spending bill to be enough "to move forward" with Trump's proposed wall.

"The Republicans have the votes in the House and the Senate and the White House to keep government open".

The wall, which experts say would cost $21.6 billion and take 3½ years to construct, has emerged as a crucial sticking point for the White House, with the president insisting privately and publicly that progress toward its funding and eventual construction must be showcased this week.

I mean, I have to see what's going on.

  • Larry Hoffman