Washington: US President Donald Trump said that the US needs a government "shutdown" in September to "fix (the) mess" in Congress that stems from the Senate requirement of 60 votes needed to approve federal budget bills.
"The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!" Trump tweeted on Tuesday regarding the bipartisan agreement reached on Sunday to avoid a partial paralysis of federal government activities.
In a second tweet, the President said: "We... either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51 per cent. Our country needs a good 'shutdown' in September to fix mess!"
Under current rules, 60 votes in the Senate are required to pass federal budget proposals but the Republicans hold just 52 seats there.
The bipartisan pact negotiated in recent days, and which will be voted on in both houses of Congress this week, sets forth a budget of about a trillion dollars for the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30, and avoids a temporary shutdown of the government, which would run out of funds on Friday if the new budget were not approved.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday that Trump will seek to have his priorities included in the budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins on October 1.
Prior to that date, the White House and Congress will have to engage in more negotiations to avoid -- once again -- a partial shutdown of the federal government due to lack of funds.