WASHINGTON – With no end of a partial shutdown in sight, President Donald Trump rang in the new year Tuesday by denouncing a new Democratic plan to reopen the government because it lacks money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
“The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall. So imaginative!” Trump tweeted. “The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real Border Security – and our Country must finally have a Strong and Secure Southern Border!”
Democrats accused Trump of promoting the shutdown, in its 11th day as well as a new year, by insisting on an expensive wall that would do little or nothing to stop illegal border crossings.
Trump “has given Democrats a great opportunity to show how we will govern responsibly & quickly pass our plan to end the irresponsible #TrumpShutdown – just the first sign of things to come in our new Democratic Majority committed to working #ForThePeople,” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted in promoting her plan.
From the White House, Trump issued mocking season’s greetings to his critics.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA!” Trump tweeted.
He wrote, “2019 WILL BE A FANTASTIC YEAR FOR THOSE NOT SUFFERING FROM TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE, GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY!”
Later in the day, Trump issued a more sedate tweet: “Happy New Year!”
Trump taunted Pelosi, who is likely to be elected House speaker for the new Democratic majority. “Border Security and the Wall ‘thing’ and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker!” Trump tweeted. “Let’s make a deal?”
The Trump administration invited congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on border security, including plans for the wall.
Pelosi and the Democrats said they already have a plan and will pass it when they take charge of the House of Representatives after it convenes Thursday.
The proposal includes full-year funding for shuttered departments except for the Department of Homeland Security, which handles immigration and border security.
The Democrats called for temporary funding of the DHS through Feb. 8 as Trump and Congress negotiate a long-term plan, though many Democrats oppose any federal funding for the wall.
“The President is using the #TrumpShutdown to try to force an expensive & ineffective wall upon the American people, but Democrats have offered two bills which separate the arguments over the wall from the government shutdown,” Pelosi tweeted.
Though White House officials said they would not comment on any plan until Congress sends them one, Trump has said in tweets he would oppose any plan that lacks money for a wall.
Monday, the president tweeted that “the Democrats will probably submit a Bill, being cute as always, which gives everything away but gives NOTHING to Border Security, namely the Wall. You see, without the Wall there can be no Border Security.”
Though Democrats will have the votes in the House to pass their plan, its fate in the Republican-run Senate is uncertain at best.
Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the GOP Senate “is not going to send something to the president that he won’t sign.”
This article originally appeared in USA Today.