The White House is planning to call a federal government shut down in a matter of days in response to President Donald Trump’s request for $3 billion in federal funds, according to people familiar with the plan.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But Trump, who campaigned on a promise to “get rid of Obamacare,” would need Congress’ permission to use the money for an emergency supplemental spending bill.
Trump’s request was made late Thursday afternoon after Congress passed a $1.1 trillion bill to help avert a partial government shutdown, and the measure is awaiting a vote in the Senate.
It’s the latest twist in a series of Trump controversies that have overshadowed his presidency, including the FBI’s Russia probe, his travel ban, the IRS tax refund debacle and a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned deadly.
Trump has sought to distance himself from the controversy in recent days, but Democrats and other Republicans are pressing him on the issue.
He has blamed Democrats for failing to support the emergency supplemental, which passed through the Senate on a party-line vote, and has been urging them to support legislation to help Americans affected by the government shutdown.
The administration is also preparing to release an executive order to reduce spending for the Veterans Affairs Department, a key agency that is in need of relief from the federal government’s funding crisis.
Trump also called on Congress to pass legislation to extend federal unemployment benefits and other government aid, and called for more help for state and local governments, which are also struggling with the shutdown.
But the Trump administration has not released details on the executive order.
In the past, the administration has said it would consider the emergency funding request for three weeks, after which the administration would work with Congress to finalize the legislation.
That delay is unusual because the president and congressional leaders typically reach an agreement by midnight.