Pressured by conservatives, Trump rejects budget
by Harvest Prude
Posted 12/20/18, 01:52 pm
WASHINGTON—UPDATE: After meeting with President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the president will not sign the current stopgap funding measure to avert a government shutdown.
Trump seems to have been persuaded by a number of conservative lawmakers who argued he should veto the bill. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., argued that this was the last chance to secure border wall funding since Democrats, who take control of the House next month, would never agree to it.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders afterward said, “We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall.”
UPDATE (1:36 p.m.): The House initially planned to vote on a stopgap government funding measure Thursday, but mixed signals from the White House are sending lawmakers into a tailspin. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last week that getting money from Congress for the border wall was not imperative because funding could come from other sources.
But Thursday, she said that President Donald Trump “does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall.” The president added on Twitter that he would refuse to sign any Democratic legislation in the next Congress “unless it has perfect Border Security.”
House Republicans, including Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, and some members of the House Freedom Caucus, are meeting with Trump to figure out how to move forward.
OUR EARLIER REPORT (11:18 a.m.): The Senate passed a temporary funding measure late Wednesday night to avoid a partial government shutdown. The bill funds border security and other agencies at current spending levels through Feb. 8. It is headed to a House vote next and is expected to pass, though some lawmakers have criticized it for not including funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., urged President Donald Trump to veto the measure if it passes the House.
While Trump has not yet said whether he will sign off on the bill, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House doesn’t want the government to shut down. She also said the president is considering other means of securing funds for a border wall. One source she may not have had in mind: A GoFundMe campaign a Florida resident set up this week. The crowdfunding effort had already raised more than $4.2 million as of midmorning Thursday but was aiming for a total of $1 billion.
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