Government Shutdown Watch: Will Trump Dig in His Heels Over Wall Funding?

Government Shutdown Watch: Will Trump Dig in His Heels Over Wall Funding?


The federal government still faces the possibility of a partial shutdown after December 7 unless Congress and President Trump can agree on the seven appropriations bills that need to be finalized for fiscal 2019. Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall remains the key sticking point, with both sides reportedly refusing to bend in bipartisan spending talks so far.

How the talks play out from here will depend on Trump. House Republican leaders were heading to the White House Tuesday afternoon to discuss strategy, Politico’s John Bresnahan, Burgess Everett and Sarah Ferris write.

One option under discussion is to provide the $5 billion, but over two years: “The White House’s top priority now, according to multiple Senate Republicans, is guaranteeing several years worth of wall construction before the GOP loses full control of Congress. Republicans have internally floated perhaps spreading the $5 billion over two years, but the White House realizes once Democrats take the House that deal may fall apart, said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.” 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Tuesday that Democrats oppose including more than $1.6 billion, the amount provided by the Senate’s Homeland Security spending bill, for border security and the wall.

This weekend’s clashes between migrants and U.S. law enforcement officials at the Mexico border have complicated the negotiations, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports: “Before border authorities turned to tear gas on Sunday to turn away migrants rushing the border, many lawmakers and aides on Capitol Hill thought Trump would likely sign funding legislation to prevent a shutdown, even if it represented a watered-down border security package. The ugliness on Sunday, Republicans say, is only likely to convince Trump to dig his heels in harder on more funding for the wall.”