Trump keeps up pressure on Democrats over border wall funding

Trump keeps up pressure on Democrats over border wall funding

President Donald Trump is keeping the pressure on congressional Democrats over funding for his promised border wall.

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 December 21. And even some Republicans balk at spending more than the $1.6 billion for fencing and other security improvements already provided.

House Republicans have passed a spending bill that includes $5 billion for the president's proposed border wall, while Senate Democrats have proposed $1.6 billion for the project.

President Donald Trump and George P. Bush's father, Jeb, engaged in a vitriolic primary rivalry during the 2016 campaign, and Trump has mocked and criticized the legacies of both Presidents Bush.

Central American migrants planning to surrender to US border guards climb over the USA border wall from Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, late Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.

Democrats have little interest in providing the $5 billion Trump wants for the southern border, and with the party set to take control of the House in the new year, opposition to the wall has hardened. He did not provide any evidence for the savings, but again threatened to close the "entire Southern Border if necessary".

While Democrats prefer a one-week extension, they signaled they would not object to a two-week delay. Chuck Schumer of NY and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, to the White House for a meeting Tuesday, but Democrats asked to postpone it because of Bush's funeral.

The Post, citing a former administration official, said that the Bush family contacted the White House this past summer to make it clear that the President would be welcome at the funeral and, according to the paper, to "assure him that the focus would be on Bush's life rather than their disagreements".

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"If they [congressional leaders] come to talk about an extension because of President Bush's passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it", Trump said.

Bush said Trump and Congress' devotion of time to his grandfather's legacy reflects the late president's commitment to bipartisanship. Chuck Schumer and House Democrat Nancy Pelosi has also been delayed to next week.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, called the wall "a 14th-century solution to a 21st-century problem" and suggested that money would be better spent on more Border Patrol officers, technology and equipment. "That includes Leader Schumer".

McConnell told reporters over the weekend that it's up to Trump "to do a deal with the Democrats".

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said Monday that the new funding deadline has "raised the stakes" for negotiators working on the seven remaining spending bills.

The current deadline is midnight on Friday, Dec. 7.

Without action by Congress, federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture, State Department and Department of Homeland Security would find themselves without any money to pay employees and administer programs through the fiscal year that ends next September 30.

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