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PoliZette

Democrat Leaders Bash Border Wall Funding Ahead of Trump Meeting

President has threatened to veto spending bills that don't include the necessary $5 billion

Democratic leaders on Monday drew a line in the land when it comes to border wall funding ahead of their pivotal budget meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

The Democrat political leaders have fought against funding the border wall given that the president has threatened a government shutdown if he doesn’t get the money necessary for the project. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are planning on meeting with him on Tuesday with the aim of working out a compromise.

“Republicans still control the House, the Senate, and the White House, and they have the power to keep government open,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement provided to LifeZette late on Monday.

“Our country cannot afford a Trump Shutdown, especially at this time of economic uncertainty,” their statement said. “This holiday season, the president knows full well that his wall proposal does not have the votes to pass the House and Senate, and should not be an obstacle to a bipartisan agreement.”

Related: Senate Sends Short-Term Spending Bill to Trump to Avoid Shutdown

Congress still has seven spending bills to pass to avoid a government shutdown before December 21. Trump is pushing for $5 billion to fund his border wall and has threatened to veto any spending bills that don’t include it.

Schumer has instead offered the $1.6 billion the president originally requested for his wall.

Schumer did receive some backlash from the more progressive wings of his party for appearing to want to settle on the wall. He later clarified on November 27 that the figure was already included in an appropriations bill from six months earlier. He also said the border security funds wouldn’t go to the construction of the border wall.

Congress was able to fund most of the government by passing the two biggest minibus packages. But seven spending bills still remain, with funding for the border wall putting talks in a deadlock. The Senate and House last week even had to pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for two extra weeks to avoid a shutdown December 7.

Both chambers quickly passed the resolution within an hour of each other, with a voice vote a day before the deadline.

Related: House Takes Major Step Toward Pushing Back Government Shutdown

The first minibus package covered energy, the legislative branch, military construction and veterans affairs, with billions of dollars in additional funding.

The second minibus package included billions of dollars that primarily go toward defense, labor, health services and education. Trump signed the package into law in late September.

The second package also allowed lawmakers to avoid an earlier government shutdown by including a separate continuing resolution that extended the original deadline September 30. The lawmakers began work on the next packages until they were sidetracked by more pressing issues, with each chamber passing its own versions of a third package.

Congress usually splits appropriations bills into a dozen separate minibus packages if lawmakers aren’t putting everything in one omnibus. This time around, the lawmakers included five of the appropriation bills in the first two minibuses.

That allowed them to fund most of the federal government — but still left seven remaining bills.

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Connor D. Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected].