Demanding Wall Funding, Trump Balks at Bill to Avert Shutdown

WASHINGTON — A deal to avert a Christmastime authorities shutdown teetered on Thursday after President Trump instructed House Republican leaders he wouldn’t signal a stopgap spending invoice to hold funds flowing previous midnight Friday if it doesn’t embrace border-wall funding.

“We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation,” mentioned Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, after Mr. Trump met with House Republicans. “We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall.”

House Republicans had emerged from a convention assembly Thursday morning disgruntled and with out a assure from the management that the president would assist a invoice that might lengthen the federal government funding for 9 federal departments and several other federal businesses into early February. An emergency assembly at the White House seems to have confirmed these fears.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, mentioned that the president cited “legitimate concerns for border security” as a cause not to signal the spending invoice.

“We want to keep the government open, but we also want to see an agreement that protects the border,” Mr. Ryan mentioned. “We have very serious concerns about securing our border.”

Representative Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana and the bulk whip, instructed reporters that House Republicans would strive to add $5 billion in border wall funding to the Senate invoice. They would additionally try to add catastrophe reduction cash for these affected by storms and pure disasters as a approach to lure Democratic assist, although Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic chief, mentioned Thursday that any wall funding can be an automated “nonstarter.”

A stopgap measure with wall funding could fail within the House, the place Democrats are united in opposition and plenty of retiring and defeated Republicans have but to present up to vote. That may very well be the purpose. If it fails, Republican leaders may plead with Mr. Trump to relent.

The chaos in Washington Thursday helped ship inventory costs plummeting whereas financial uncertainty rose. On the sting of one of many largest journey weekends of the yr, the Transportation Security Administration and air site visitors management system had been about to run out of cash, although most of their workers would have to work with out pay. Visitors to the nationwide parks had been compelled to rethink journey plans.

“This is no way to run the corner grocery store, let alone the government of the United States,” Representative Dan Kildee, Democrat of Michigan, mentioned.

It was a final deluge of congressional chaos, with the House Republican leadership struggling to counter the mercurial mood from the White House and concerns that they were squandering the last moments of a Republican majority — a defeated caucus whose members have neglected to show up for votes this week.

“It makes it a lot more difficult,” Representative Carlos Curbelo, Republican of Florida, who was defeated in his November re-election bid, said of the dozens of missing members. “There’s a fear if a majority of Republicans don’t support it, the president would be less likely to support it.”

Mr. Ryan, a day after he offered a defense of his congressional legacy and lamented the “broken” state of American politics, had been set to argue that the best solution was to keep the government fully funded and accept the political loss.

But he was to be joined by Mr. Meadows and Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, both recurring instigators of friction and tumult for leadership, who are angling for a fight over wall funding and will return in January.

“The time to fight is now,” said Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, who joined the pair Wednesday night on the House floor in railing against the lack of border wall funding. “I mean, this is stupid.” ”

And while some lawmakers voiced cautious optimism that with Democratic support, the vote would go ahead and reach the president’s desk without the border wall funding, the specter of a presidential veto lingered. Without conservative support, the House could not override the president.

Punting the impasse over wall funding until after the State of the Union address expected next month could give Mr. Trump the opportunity to showcase his argument for a border wall to the American people, some lawmakers said.

But it would put control of the fight in the hands of Ms. Pelosi, the likely successor to the speaker’s gavel.

“I think the question people are asking is: When is it better to have the fight? And is it better to have the fight on our own terms or is it better to have the fight on Nancy Pelosi’s terms?” said Representative Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, who will be in the Senate come January.

Some Southeastern lawmakers, sensing a final vehicle to carry unfinished legislative business, warned they would not support a bill that did not carry disaster relief for farmers devastated by storms earlier this year.

Some House Democrats also expressed frustration that a stopgap bill would stymie efforts to jump-start their own agenda when they take the majority in two weeks, according to a Democratic aide.

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