Pelosi: Funding for Trump's border wall is a non-starter

Dec 21, 2018, 01:19
Pelosi: Funding for Trump's border wall is a non-starter

But even as members of the Freedom Caucus are poised to urge Trump not to abandon his quest for border wall funding, White House officials say it's likely the President will do just that - and sign a short-term spending bill to avert a partial government shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) said the Senate will remain in session Thursday.

Two years on, Mr Trump has been unable to deliver on his key campaign promise.

But he did make clear he will continue to push for the wall funding when the next Congress convenes after a holiday break that will start for lawmakers Thursday and him on Friday.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, which opposes any budget bill without the wall funding, tweeted Wednesday that "punting" the issue with a continuing resolution until February 8, "not only gives Democrats a Christmas present, it offers them a Valentine's Day gift".

Congress is trying to pass legislation that would avoid a partial government shutdown by a deadline of midnight Friday. That measure, though, did not include any funding for the border wall, and so far, only around $1.6 billion has been allocated for President Trump's signature anti-immigration measure - enough to fix and rebuild only around 33 miles of border fence. He had promised to begin working on an "impenetrable physical wall" along the southern border on his first day in office, but little headway has been made.

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The president's allies expressed anxiety on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) that Trump was, in the words of some, "caving" on the wall and warned of the potential backlash from his supporters and the impact it could have on his re-election effort.

"The President informed us that he will not sign the bill that came over from the Senate last evening, because of his legitimate concerns for border security", House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters at the White House.

"I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership", Trump tweeted shortly after calling Ryan during a morning meeting of House Republicans.

"A Government Shutdown is a very small price to pay for a safe and Prosperous America!"

"The House and Senate will not approve a wall from reprogrammed funds or anything else".

President Trump just met with Republican Members of the House.

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Republican and Democratic leaders gave strong signals that the stopgap bill, known as a continuing resolution, would pass Congress and land on the president's desk.

Pelosi and her caucus supported the short-term spending bill that Trump said he would not sign.

Even if DHS were temporarily left without funding, though, it would not materially impact border security, because Border Patrol and ICE agents would nearly certainly still be required to report for work. But it defied the president by refusing to give him any of the $5 billion United States he demanded to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, one of his key campaign promises.

But on Tuesday, the White House appeared to step away from the brink of a shutdown. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a leader of the group, said Trump should veto the funding bill if it passes. "There's plenty of blame to go around here", said Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida. "I think a lot of people who voted for President Trump counted on him on this particular issue, I think their feet were to the fire".

"Democrats earlier proposed keeping funding at $1.3 billion for border security fencing and other improvements, but not for the wall". Because they voted twice in recent years to fund construction of a border wall. "The President is continuing to weigh his options", administration spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

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