Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Lawmakers considering stopgap spending measure ahead of government funding deadline

Lawmakers considering stopgap spending measure ahead of government funding deadline

President Donald Trump said he's willing to push back a US government funding deadline as Washington prepares to honor former President George H.W. Bush, who died late Friday.

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.

Even some Republicans balk at spending more than the $1.6 billion for fencing and other security improvements already provided.

The president wants Congress to authorize five billion dollars for construction of the border wall - and he has said that he's willing to let the government shut down if Congress doesn't approve the funds.

The president had been scheduled to meet on Tuesday with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to discuss the impasse.

President Trump has been locked in a fight with Democrats in Congress over the funding for the president's plans for a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Trump's planned meeting with Sen.

"Could somebody please explain to the Democrats (we need their votes) that our Country losses 250 Billion Dollars a year on illegal immigration, not including the bad drug flow", Trump wrote on Tuesday.

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President Trump is demanding $5 billion for the wall, but top Democratic leaders say they can't support that level of money. The meeting has been tentatively rescheduled for December 11, said a White House official who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

While Democrats prefer a one-week extension, they likely would not object to a two-week delay, a Democratic aide said Monday.

"If [members of Congress] come - which they have - to talk about an extension because of President Bush's passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it", Trump said. He has said he is willing to endure a partial government shutdown if Congress fails to provide for border security in a spending bill.

The bill must pass the House and Senate, but leaders don't expect that to be a serious hurdle.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, predicted that Democrats would be blamed for any shutdown, though Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut down the government over wall funding.

McConnell told reporters in Louisville on Saturday it's up to Trump "to do a deal with the Democrats". Six of the seven appropriations bills are ready to go, Politico said, with funding for the border remaining as the last hurdle to clear.

Most of the federal government has been funded for the fiscal year that runs through September 30, 2019, but the stalemate is over wall funds and other remaining federal agencies.

The current deadline is midnight on Friday, Dec. 7.

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