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Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a press conference with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi at the National Press Club on February 27, 2017. (AFP photo)
Democratic senators in Congress have warned Republicans they will block any attempts to include President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and other far-right agenda items in the new spending bill, raising the risks of a new government shutdown early in the new administration.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other senior Democrats issued the warning on Monday in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
It warned against funding the US-Mexico border wall and other “poison pills” that could be hidden in the budget plan, such as defunding the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, reducing environmental regulations and allocating additional funding to the US Defense Department. 
“If Republicans insist on inserting poison pill riders such as defunding Planned Parenthood, building a border wall, or starting a deportation force, they will be shutting down the government and delivering a severe blow to our economy,” Schumer said.    
On October 1, 2013, the first day of the 2014 fiscal year, a funding gap occurred after disagreements over Obamacare, causing the first US government shutdown in more than 17 years.
The shutdown, which lasted 16 days, resulted in the furlough of hundreds of thousands of federal employees.
    Trump has signed an executive order calling for the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border as well as hiring 5,000 more border patrol agents and 10,000 more immigration agents in 2017.
    Immigrant rights groups praised Democrats for their shutdown threat. Activists have vowed resistance to Trump’s immigration plans.
    Meanwhile, Senate Democrats, led by Senator Dianne Feinstein, announced a bill on Monday to revoke Trump’s revised travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries.
    “President Trump’s discriminatory executive order isn’t about strengthening our national security. It’s a transparent effort to fulfill his campaign promise to implement a ‘Muslim Ban,’” Feinstein said in a statement.

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