Reporting by Rebecca Kaplan and Nancy Cordes
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that President Trump would not sign a Senate bill passed Wednesday which would keep the government funded through February. The bill would avert a government shutdown as Christmas and the new year approach, but Mr. Trump is unwilling to sign a bill which does not contain funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Ryan said that the House Republicans would rework their bill to include wall funding.
“We’re going to go back and work on adding border security to this also keeping the government open because we want to see an agreement,” Ryan said.
The president added a sense of uncertainty to the prospects for the bill when he tweeted Thursday morning, “When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership. Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries – but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!”
If Republicans vote to pass the funding bill, and the president doesn’t sign it, it will look like they gave up too easily on his wall funding, CBS News’ Nancy Cordes points out. Democrats, who just won over 100 seats in the midterm elections and are set to take the majority in January, have little incentive to cooperate.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reiterated that Democrats are not willing to support $5 billion in wall funding.
“Democrats are not budging on the wall. We favor smart, effective border security, not a medieval wall,” Schumer said. “They can, having caught the trump temper tantrum fever, jump up and down, yell and scream. It is not going to get a wall. And they, neither Mr. Meadows or Mr. Jordan have outlined any conceivable plan on how to achieve what they say they want to achieve.”
Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Mo Brooks, R-Ala., say there are two big concerns right now: First, there’s “no guarantee,” as Curbelo put it, that President Trump will sign the bill. Brooks called it “the $5 billion question.” Mr. Trump’s conservative allies, including Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, are urging him to veto the bill because of a lack of southern border wall funding.
Adding to the uncertainty, senators were told Wednesday night that they could leave at their discretion. A not insignificant number of them have apparently already left town or are preparing to do so. So, if the House passes a measure that is other than the Senate-passed continuing resolution, it will take some time to get senators back to Washington for a vote.
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