World

Congress Poised To Punt On Government Spending Fight Over Border Wall

Congress Poised To Punt On Government Spending Fight Over Border Wall

President Donald Trump kept up pressure Monday on congressional Democrats over funding for his promised border wall, even as lawmakers appeared likely to avert a partial government shutdown this week with a stopgap measure.

That gives negotiators an extra two weeks to finalize legislation to fund roughly a dozen agencies, including critical areas like the State Department and the Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation.

President Trump is demanding $5 billion for the wall, but top Democratic leaders say they can't support that level of money.

Congress has already passed - and President Trump has signed - five of the 12 annual funding bills for fiscal 2019.

There was a fear that President Donald Trump might shut down the government because he hasn't received the requested funding for his US-Mexico border wall.

Democrats have steadfastly opposed providing any more than $1.6 billion for border security, and they want no money allocated for a concrete wall on the southern border. He did not provide any evidence for the savings, but again threatened to close the "entire Southern Border if necessary".

Trump told reporters on Air Force One on Saturday he would be willing to sign a two-week government funding extension to allow for ceremonies honoring former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday.




The Post, citing a former administration official, said that the Bush family contacted the White House this past summer to make it clear that the President would be welcome at the funeral and, according to the paper, to "assure him that the focus would be on Bush's life rather than their disagreements".

Schumer has suggested one option would be for Trump to accept the Senate's $1.6 billion bipartisan border security package, along with the remaining $1.3 billion from the current fiscal year that has not yet been spent.

The country shouldn't have to endure a shutdown over "Trump's temper tantrum", Schumer said last week.

Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., were scheduled to meet with the president on Tuesday, but that sit down at the White House was postponed until next week.

Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Chairwoman Shelley Moore Capito said that having the new funding deadline just days before Christmas could increase pressure on lawmakers to come to an agreement.

"I think a lot of them would want to pass our appropriation bills", Shelby said. Federal funding for those agencies is set to expire at midnight Friday.

Almost three-quarters of the federal government has been funded for the fiscal year that runs through September 30, 2019, but a stalemate remains over wall funding and several remaining federal agencies, including the Justice and State departments.


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