President Donald Trump reportedly said on Thursday he will not sign a continuing resolution to avert a partial government shutdown in his fight for border wall funding.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters of the development after meeting with the president.
They met to work out a deal to pass a short-term spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown on Friday.
But the president is standing his ground with his pledge to risk a government shutdown in the name of border security.
“We just had a very long, productive meeting with the president,” Ryan told reporters after the meeting, reported CNBC.
“The president informed us that he will not sign the bill that came up from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns for border security.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced the bill this week with the deadline to fund the government Friday.
The Senate quickly passed it Wednesday before it moved to the House, where it has since been sitting. But the president will ultimately have to sign the bill before it can be approved.
The continuing resolution would have kept the government funded at current levels until Feb. 8, 2019. But that could complicate the funding debate even more, since congressional control is splitting when the new session begins at the start of the year.
Trump has been demanding $5 billion to fund the construction of a security wall along the southern border. He threatened to veto spending bills that don’t include funding for the border wall. But his push to secure the border has also become a major sticking point in the spending debate.
Democratic leaders have resisted giving him anything for the wall. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he is only willing to provide the $1.6 billion for border security that was included in an earlier appropriations bill. But those funds cannot go to the construction of a border wall.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders seemed to back down from the veto threat a bit this week and said there may be other ways to fund the border wall. But the president kept up his demands for border wall funding, which put the short-term spending bill in question.
The House Freedom Caucus took to the floor to demand funding for a border wall in Wednesday. Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) chastised his colleagues for constantly pushing back the border wall debate and not keeping their promises.
Other caucus members joined him as they took turns urging a border wall fight.
Schumer offered the president two options during a failed meeting to reach a compromise on December 11. He said they should either pass a continuing resolution for the remaining spending bills or just one for the bill that covers border security. The meeting quickly turned into an argument — and Trump threatened a shutdown.
“House Democrats have made two reasonable offers to President Trump that will keep our government open and fund priorities that are important to the American people,” a spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee Democrats told LifeZette on Tuesday. “Instead of working in good faith, President Trump has ignored these offers and instead seems to be rooting for a shutdown. With the deadline looming, it is time for Republicans to drop their ridiculous border wall demands, come to the negotiating table, and work with Democrats to pass reasonable, responsible bills to fund the federal government.”
Congress already had to pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for two weeks to avoid a shutdown on December 7.
An earlier spending bill also included a continuing resolution that extended the original deadline of September 30.
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