WASHINGTON President Donald Trump might be willing to sign a temporary spending bill to the keep the government funded beyond Friday even if border-wall funding is not included in the measure, according to a senior administration official who spoke with CNN.
Trump has pressured Congress to allocate $1.4 billion in the spending bill to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border but the president is now said to be amenable to language that would fund alternative security enhancements.
Congress last December passed a continuing resolution to authorize government funding through April 28. Passage of a new stopgap measure would maintain funding through September unless lawmakers decide to approve a more short-term spending bill in hopes of negotiating a second bill in the near future that would include border wall funding.
Border-wall construction was a central tenet to then-candidate Trump’s hardline anti-immigration platform, and the president tweeted Tuesday that he is still committed to fulfilling that pledge.
Don't let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017
Democrats are opposed to funding the wall. They also are opposed to the administration’s requests for language in the spending bill that would pave the way for gutting Obamacare subsidies, eliminating funding for sanctuary cities and defunding Planned Parenthood.
But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a statement Monday evening responded favorably to media reports suggesting the president might be willing to hold off on his request for border-wall funding.
“It’s good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations. Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues,” he said.
Speculation mounted throughout the two-week Congressional recess that lawmakers might vote on a revised Obamacare repeal and replacement bill this week as both chambers return to Washington but as of now that prospect seems rather remote.
President Trump is expected to formally introduce the administration’s tax plan on Wednesday.