Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Conservatives call for Congress to put $5B toward border wall construction

Conservatives call for Congress to put $5B toward border wall construction

The short-term spending measure would provide cash for the federal government until December 21, preventing a messy budget battle as Capitol Hill mourns the death of President George H.W. Bush.

President Donald Trump has signaled he will sign a short-term measure that does not contain wall funding, but he has repeatedly threatened to shut down parts of the government if Democrats do not give him the wall money.

Lawmakers are considering taking up a one-week spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown by Friday, a move created to put off a major showdown until after former President George H.W. Bush's funeral proceedings, according to a source briefed on the talks.

The president and first lady made a trip to the U.S. Capitol Monday night to pay their respects to former President George H.W. Bush, who is lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda ahead of the state funeral Wednesday.

Washington is on the brink of another government shutdown, with Democrats and Republicans sparring over funding President Donald Trump's signature (and unfulfilled) campaign promise, with government funding set to expire on December 7 at midnight.

Trump tweeted Monday: "We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall". We will close the entire Southern Border if necessary.

Sen. Charles Schumer of NY and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the two Democratic leaders, also asked the president to postpone a scheduled meeting today that would have touched upon the spending debate, according to a Democratic aide.


"If there's any shutdown, it's on President Trump's back", Schumer said.

The change in tone is likely fueled Bush family assurances that the 41st President's funeral would be free of political tension and the anti-Trump sentiment that permeated McCain's funeral, the Washington Post reported.

Bush said Trump and Congress' devotion of time to his grandfather's legacy reflects the late president's commitment to bipartisanship.

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. Chuck Schumer of NY and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, to the White House for a meeting Tuesday, officials said. He said, "I think that's the path to getting a signature and avoiding a government shutdown".

Lawmakers say they're close to finalizing six of the remaining seven bills.

Without action by Congress, federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture, State Department and Department of Homeland Security would find themselves without any money to pay employees and administer programs through the fiscal year that ends next September 30.

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