Trump Lashes Out as House Struggles With Avoiding Shutdown

Posted December 21, 2018

A potential deal on Capitol Hill to avert a government shutdown with a short-term spending measure hit a roadblock Thursday as the White House said President Trump "does not want to go further" with anything that does not include sought-after funding for border security.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the measure will fund normal government operations at current levels through February 8 - bringing Washington a step closer to avoiding a potentially crippling closure of some federal offices over next week's coming Christmas holiday.

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.

Some of the president's allies accused him of "caving" on the wall now. McCarthy said he was optimistic that some deal could be reached within Congress ahead of the Friday deadline.

Paul Ryan leaving the White House after being informed of Mr Trump's decision
Credit
Bloomberg
Paul Ryan leaving the White House after being informed of Mr Trump's decision Credit Bloomberg

OH congressman Jim Jordan noted in exasperation that plans to build a wall will only get more hard from next month once Democrats become the majority in the House.

Congress did pass legislation to fund much of the government through the fiscal year, until October 1. Trump also tried to defend his efforts on the border, arguing that "people are losing sight of the great job being done on our Southern Border by Border Patrol, ICE and our great Military".

"If we're not going to fight now, when are we going to fight?"

While Trump has not said that he would sign such a measure, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway signaled Wednesday that he may consider it, saying "he'll take a look at that certainly".

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The Democrats know that they got the Republicans to cave during the previous budget impasse, which produced a bloated $1.3 trillion Omnibus spending bill that didn't fund construction of the border wall.

Collins was already headed to the airport to return home to ME and wait for the drama to play out, when word came, via House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had met with Trump, that a government shutdown now seemed more likely. "The president informed us that he will not sign the bill that came up from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns for border security".

Trump appeared to be referring to legislation Democrats might try to advance in 2019, when they take control of the House from Republicans.

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. "We want to keep the government open, but we also want to see an agreement that protects the border". "The base will just go insane", he said.

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I will not have a debate with the president of the United States through tweets , " he said. "The shoes are too big for him". A police spokeswoman told reporters there were about 1,500 protesters on the Champs Elysees boulevard.

Democrats have made clear that figure is a non-starter for them and any spending bill would need at least some Democratic votes to pass in the Senate.

"What I've been a little relieved about is the Democrats really digging in on it because I was nervous about what the Republican leadership was trying to pass", said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, who is in regular discussions with the administration.

Trump told the crowd, which included the bipartisan group of lawmakers who spearheaded the farm bill, that securing the nation's borders was his "solemn promise" and that illegal immigration reportedly costs $275 billion per year.

On Twitter, the President made clear his disappointment with the lack of funding for his border wall.

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The president's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said Tuesday that Trump would consider other options than demanding $5 billion for the border wall.