President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the army will build the controversial wall on the Mexican border if Democrats fail to support the funding needed to guarantee border security.
"If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall," Trump said on Twitter.
The president said that thanks to Border Patrol agents, the military and new sections of the wall, "the large Caravans that WERE forming and heading to our Country" have not been able to cross the border.
"A Great Wall would be, however, a far easier & less expensive solution...The Democrats, however, for strictly political reasons and because they have been pulled so far left, do NOT want Border Security. They want Open Borders for anyone to come in. This brings large scale crime and disease," he tweeted.
The president's warnings came hours before he was to meet in the White House with Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
Trump has continued to insist in recent weeks that if a spending bill passed by Congress does not include sufficient funding for building the border wall he could refuse to sign it, which would lead to a new government shutdown next Dec. 21 if the parties fail to reach an agreement.
Last week Pelosi told a press conference that the wall, one of the Trump's signature promises in the 2016 electoral campaign, would be "immoral, ineffective and expensive," and also recalled that the president "promised that Mexico would pay for it."
Following the November elections, Democrats recovered control of the House of Representatives, which will foreseeably be led by Pelosi starting in January 2019, and which will make Trump's demand unlikely to be met.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said on several occasions that he would like to obtain the $5 billion that Trump is asking for construction of the wall, though he admits there is little hope the Democrats will back that option.
The last bipartisan agreement in July on the matter won $1.6 billion for Trump's wall proposal, after Republicans included it in the Defense Department budget.