Stark retreat for Republicans on spending, Trump's wall
- Author: Joey Payne Dec 20, 2018,
Dec 20, 2018, 0:32
For example, Kellyanne Conway has taken to claiming that it's "ridiculous" to say that the funding battle is "about a wall", and both she and Trump have taken to claiming that a wall and a fence are the same thing. "One way or the other, we will win on the Wall!". "Far more money coming to the U.S. Because of the tremendous dangers at the Border, including large scale criminal and drug inflow, the United States Military will build the Wall!" he tweeted.
A Senate Democratic aide said the appropriations bill, which would keep the Department of Homeland Security and several other agencies operating on a temporary basis, was expected to pass the Senate either on Wednesday or Thursday.
The president has been in a stand-off with Democrats over funding for a wall along the country's southern border, which has prohibited lawmakers from reaching an agreement on a spending bill.
Trump's anxiety about fulfilling his top campaign goal comes at the end of months of bitter debate inside the West Wing over how to fund the border wall between those seen as ideologues and those who consider themselves pragmatists. The prospect of funding the wall this time around grew dim when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday he will introduce a continuing resolution, a deal that will fund the government through February 8 but deny the President his wall funding.
Just last week, at a televised meeting at the White House, Trump said he would be "proud" to shut the government down over the wall.
Democratic congressional leaders, Sen. McConnell said a stopgap measure could be approved, though he suggested that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to become House speaker when the Democrats take control January 3, would not want to saddle the new year with a budget brawl. "We can not accept the offer they made of a billion-dollar slush fund for the President to implement his very wrong immigration policies", Pelosi said as she left a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
"He is not going to get the wall in any form", Schumer said. Schumer said there will be no wall money, "plain and simple".
In a last-ditch attempt to resolve the impasse this year, Trump and McConnell on Tuesday proposed giving Trump a $1 billion fund that he could use at his discretion for border security.
Republicans "should join us in one of these two proposals, which would get more than enough votes passed and avoid a shutdown", Schumer said.
Congress did pass legislation to fund much of the government through the fiscal year, until October 1. Congress often approves their pay retroactively, even if they were ordered to stay home. The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, would not be affected by any government shutdown because it's an independent agency.