The U.S. Congress on Thursday steered toward preventing a partial federal shutdown with a temporary government funding bill that likely would extend into next year a fight with President Donald Trump over border security.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says after leaving a meeting with Trump at the White House that he and other leaders are going to go back to Capitol Hill to "work on adding border security" to the legislation.
Rank-and-file House Republicans left a closed-door meeting with their leaders giving conflicting views on whether Trump would sign into law the bill that would keep about 25 per cent of federal programs operating beyond midnight on Friday when existing money expires.
The White House said on Tuesday it would search for already appropriated government funds to be redirected towards building the wall, since Congress was not cooperating with its request for the money.
By postponing longer-term decisions on spending for agencies that also include the departments of Justice, Commerce, Interior and Agriculture, Democrats will be in a somewhat stronger bargaining position next year when they take majority control of the House.
Congress did pass legislation to fund much of the government through the current budget year, until next October 1.
"The Democrats, who know Steel Slats (Wall) are necessary for Border Security, are putting politics over Country".
The night before, he said that failing to veto the measure would cause "major damage" to Trump's re-election prospects.
"The wall won't be resolved no matter what we do because we aren't going to do the wall", House Minority Whip Steny B. Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters.
Interested in Government Shutdown? "They can not do it on their own and the House and Senate will not approve a wall from reprogrammed funds or anything else".
"The president informed us he will not sign the bill", Ryan said.
US Senate approves bill to avert government shutdown
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) had said the Democrats "cannot accept the offer they made of a billion dollar slush fund for the president to implement his very wrong immigration policies, so that won't happen".
Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not pass money for the wall, a key campaign promise that he claimed Mexico would fund.
As lawmakers continue to try to figure out how to keep all of the government open, the president is promising to build a border wall with Mexico "one way or the other". The issue is so divisive that GOP leaders have avoided scheduling stand-alone votes on that funding to avoid a potentially embarrassing failure to pass one of Trump's biggest demands.
The Senate passed a spending bill last night.
McConnell says the Senate will vote on the bill Wednesday.
"The base will just go insane", he said, referring to Trump's most loyal backers.
In the Senate, the threshold of 60 votes appears impossible, given Democrats' unified objection to a border wall that could end up costing $70 billion to build and $150 million annually to maintain, according to Democrats' estimates. "Not good!" he tweeted, referring to a spending bill he signed past year that had no wall funding.
Right-wing columnist Ann Coulter - author of In Trump We trust - recently opined that the president will not be re-elected without a wall.
The White House has not provided details of that effort but leading Democrats have warned that shifting funds around in such a way would have to be approved by Congress.
Scalise originally told Republicans that lawmakers would have a chance to vote on the border wall and disaster funding as a separate amendment.
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