President Trump early Thursday resumed his feud with Democrats on Capitol Hill over funding for a border wall, claiming that most of the hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or forced to work without pay due to a partial government shutdown are Democrats.
“Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking, Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country,” he tweeted.
“Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?” he added.
The president did not provide an explanation for his claim.
The border wall has been the focal point of government funding negotiations between Capitol Hill and the White House.
The Senate initially passed a bill without the border wall funding, but Trump, after facing pressure from several conservative allies, declared the next day he would not sign it without money for his signature campaign promise.
The House last week passed a bill with $5.7 billion in wall funding, though it was seen as dead on arrival in the Senate as it was clear it would fail to reach a 60-vote hurdle.
Democrats in both houses have declared their opposition to the border wall, with Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) calling it a “nonstarter.”
The president during a trip to visit U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday doubled down on his demand for $5 billion for a border wall to end the shutdown, now in its sixth day.
“Whatever it takes. We need a wall. We need safety for our country. Even from this standpoint. We have terrorists coming in through the southern border,” he told reporters.
In a sign that the two sides are not yet close to reaching a compromise, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) office said Wednesday that no votes in the House are expected on Thursday and that members will get a 24-hour notice of when they need to return to Washington.
Democrats will have significantly more leverage in negotiations come Jan. 3, when the party officially take control of the House of Representatives. Conservatives have suggested that these negotiations represent Trump’s last best chance of making good on his promise for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.