House Speaker Paul Ryan said after a White House sitdown that President Trump will not sign a temporary spending bill passed by the Senate unless he gets more cash for border security.
Trump, who summoned Ryan and other top House conservatives to the meeting, opposed the Senate bill “because of legitimate concerns about border security,” according to the lame-duck Wisconsin Republican.
The House, he said, would start work on a bill that could be acceptable to the president.
But doubts remain whether Ryan can come up with a bill that would pass, with many members of his caucus having already left town and Democrats digging in their heels against more funding for Trump’s long-promised wall — increasing the likelihood of a government shutdown.
Trump — after vowing last week that he would be “proud” to own a shutdown — had appeared to back off earlier this week, with spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying the administration would find the money elsewhere.
But that infuriated conservatives, including the House Freedom Caucus, and prompted an avalanche of criticism from conservative pundits on Fox News that angered the thin-skinned commander-in-chief.
Sanders also said earlier Thursday that Trump was unlikely to sign the Senate bill.
“The President is having a meeting with Republican House Members at noon today. At this moment, the President does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall. The President is continuing to weigh his options,” Sanders said in a statement.
Sen. Chuck Schumer said earlier Thursday that Republicans appeared headed for a shutdown.
“If Speaker Ryan refuses to put the [continuing resolution] on the floor, or President Trump vetoes it, there will be a Trump shutdown but there will be no wall,” he said on the Senate floor.
Ryan’s final weekly news conference was canceled after he got what was described as an “emergency” call from the president, who earlier Thursday griped on Twitter about not getting the $5 billion he wants in the spending bill.
“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!” he tweeted, referring to a spending bill he signed last year that had no wall funding.
“The Democrats, who know Steel Slats (Wall) are necessary for Border Security, are putting politics over Country. What they are just beginning to realize is that I will not sign any of their legislation, including infrastructure, unless it has perfect Border Security. U.S.A. WINS!” he added in another tweet.
Congress is trying to pass legislation that would avoid a partial government shutdown by the deadline of midnight Friday, but conservatives in the House, led by hardline Rep. Mark Meadows, co-founder of the Freedom Caucus, revolted over the lack of border wall spending.
“We have to fight now or America will never believe we’ll fight,” Meadows railed during a closed-door GOP caucus, the New York Times reported.
While Trump has backed off his televised shutdown threat, he came under pressure from conservative allies to veto a short-term deal.
The shutdown question Thursday moved to the House as the Senate passed a bill to temporarily fund the government and extend the deadline for a spending bill until Feb. 8.
The House is expected to vote on the measure before the midnight Friday deadline.
The measure doesn’t include the money Trump has demanded for his long-promised “big, beautiful” border wall with Mexico.
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