The Latest: Dems shun wall money from other parts of budget
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on negotiations over funding President Donald Trump wants for a U.S.-Mexico border wall and the possibility of a partial government shutdown (all times local):
Senate Democrats say President Donald Trump isn’t paying for his border wall from other parts of the government’s budget because doing so would require approval from Congress.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer rejected White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ suggestion Tuesday that there are ways to pay for the wall using federal money allocated to other things. Schumer said to do so, “They’d need congressional approval, and they’re not getting it for the wall.”
The statement was the latest volley in the standoff over passing a funding bill.
Trump, who vowed to make Mexico pay for the wall along the border, is insisting that any budget plan include U.S. funding. Democrats are refusing. If the standoff is not resolved, parts of the government will shut down at midnight Friday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s confident that there will not be a partial government shutdown, but discussions are continuing.
President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers are in a standoff over funding the government, and the main sticking point is Trump’s demand for $5 billion in taxpayer dollars for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. McConnell proposed $1.6 billion for border security plus another $1 billion in flexible funding. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer rejected the proposal, saying Democrats would not accept a billion-dollar “slush fund.”
McConnell says he’s “in consultation” with the White House about the path forward. He added that the administration is “extremely flexible on this issue.”
Asked if he’s confident that the government will not shut down, McConnell said, “Yeah, I am.”
The White House says it’s waiting to see what the Senate can pass to prevent a partial government shutdown.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Senate has “thrown out a number of ideas.” She said that when something passes, the White House will evaluate it.
Sanders says: “We want to know what can pass.”
Sanders says President Donald Trump has asked every Cabinet secretary to look for funding that could be used for border security. Congressional leaders have been negotiating since the White House indicated earlier in the day that Trump does not want a federal government shutdown over his demand for $5 billion for the border wall with Mexico.
Democratic leaders are spurning a proposal by the top Senate Republican to avert a partial government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall with Mexico.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed $1.6 billion for border security, as outlined in a bipartisan Senate bill, plus another $1 billion Trump could use on the border, according to a Democratic aide unauthorized to speak publicly about the private meeting.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called McConnell Tuesday and rejected the proposal, saying Democrats would not accept a billion-dollar “slush fund.”
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also snubbed the proposal: “Right now what they’ve offered we have not accepted.”
The White said Tuesday that Trump might accept the Senate bill if other money was also available.
Senate leaders are negotiating to avert a federal shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion for the border wall with Mexico.
In talks Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed $1.6 billion for border security, as outlined in a bipartisan Senate bill, plus an additional $1 billion that Trump could use on the border, according to a senior Democratic aide unauthorized to speak publicly about the private meeting.
Democrats are likely to reject that, the aide said, and characterized the additional money as a “slush fund.”
Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have proposed $1.3 billion. That money would not be for a wall, but for border fencing.
Earlier Tuesday, the White House indicated Trump may be willing to accept the Senate bill, if other money was also available.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the White House is willing to work with Congress to avert a partial government shutdown.
President Donald Trump has been demanding $5 billion to fund his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, but Democrats have balked at giving him any more than $1.6 billion for border security. A shutdown could happen at midnight Friday.
Sanders said on Fox News on Tuesday there are “other ways that we can get to that $5 billion,” including one bill she says would provide $26 billion in border security, including $1.6 billion for the wall.
She says, “That’s something that we would be able to support” as long as it’s coupled with other funding, such as using defense money on border security.
She adds that, “At the end of the day, we don’t want to shut down the government. We want to shut down the border from illegal immigration.”
Few if any signs of progress are emerging as President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers continue their standoff over funding the government and avoiding a partial shutdown at midnight Friday.
The main sticking point is Trump’s demand for $5 billion to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Even a partial shutdown would leave hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or working without pay over the holiday season. Costs would likely be in the billions of dollars.
Trump doesn’t have the votes from the Republican-led Congress to support his demand for border wall construction. Democrats are offering to continue funding at current levels, $1.3 billion, not for the wall but for fencing and other border security.