President Donald Trump restrained the severity of a potential government shutdown on Thursday, this comes just two days before the deadline for Congress to reach a spending deal to avert temporary layoffs of federal workers.
Trump, who was speaking in an interview with Reuters emphasized that we'll see what happens, adding that if there's a shutdown, there's a shutdown. He also made it clear that Democrats would be to blame if the federal government was left unfunded.
The deadline for Congress to pass a bill to fund the government or face a shutdown is fast approaching. Congress has until 12:01 a.m. ET on Saturday to pass the bill, which would temporarily lay off hundreds of thousands of federal workers.
The bill was introduced by Republicans on Wednesday with the sole intention of funding government operations at current levels for one more week. This would give them time to finish negotiations with Democrats on the plan for the rest of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
President Trump emphasized that a shutdown would be a very negative thing but that his administration was prepared if it was necessary.
Mr. Trump was speaking in a wide-ranging interview in which he defended the one-page tax plan he unveiled on Wednesday from criticism that it would increase the U.S. deficit, saying better trade deals and economic growth would offset the costs.
Trump pledged that his administration will do trade deals that are going to make up for a tremendous amount of the deficit, adding that his administration is going to be doing trade deals that are going to be much better trade deals.
He also revealed that it would be unfair to offer a debt bailout to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, because it was unfair to people in U.S. states.
Democrats have called for financial support to prop up Puerto Rico's Medicaid program covering health insurance for the poor. The move is aimed to be part of the budget negotiations.
President Trump emphasized that financing Puerto Rico’s Medicaid is not fair to the people of Iowa, and that he doesn't think it's fair to the people of Wisconsin and Ohio and North Carolina and Pennsylvania that we government should be bailing out Puerto Rico for billions and billions of dollars.