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Shutdown Fight Over Wall Is Likely to Be Delayed Until Just Before Christmas

Category: Political News,Politics

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers on Monday filed a two-week stopgap spending bill that would ensure that the government remains fully funded as the nation mourns former President George Bush this week.

The measure, which includes funding for the Homeland Security and Interior Departments and other federal agencies, would push a showdown over funding for a wall on the southern border to Dec. 21, just before Christmas. It is expected to be passed by unanimous consent this week, according to people familiar with the talks.

President Trump has signaled that he will sign a short-term measure that does not contain wall funding, but has repeatedly threatened to shut down parts of the government if Democrats do not give him the wall money he has demanded.

Instead of continuing the debate over money for a wall and border security, Republicans and Democrats spent the weekend negotiating the terms of an agreement that would delay the original Friday deadline. The Senate also postponed votes until late Wednesday while the House canceled all votes until next Monday to accommodate Mr. Bush’s funeral services.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the two Democratic leaders, also asked the president to postpone a scheduled meeting on Tuesday that would have touched upon the spending debate, according to a Democratic aide.

The two-week delay means lawmakers have more time to haggle over the presidential push to allocate $5 billion for a border wall. Democrats have steadfastly opposed providing any more than $1.6 billion for border security, and they want no money allocated for a concrete wall on the southern border, which Mr. Trump promised would be financed by Mexico.

Republicans have floated the possibility of spreading the $5 billion over two years, an idea that Mr. Schumer rejected.

The stopgap measure means that lawmakers — including those who are retiring or being replaced come January — could be forced to remain in Washington at least an extra week while the border wall funding issue is resolved. Negotiations on six of the seven remaining bills are virtually complete and are likely to be packaged together. The seventh funds homeland security.

Without an agreement, a shutdown would be limited. Mr. Trump has already signed into law funding measures that cover most of the government, including military, education, health and energy programs. But a partial shutdown would include some high-profile closings for the holiday season, such as national parks.

On Monday, the president again attacked Democrats for their aversion to his beloved wall, saying on Twitter that the government “would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall.”


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