Senate passes stop-gap funding bill in effort to avert government shutdown

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He knows that a border wall is essential to our national security, and he's not going to give up on that urgent priority in the interest of political expediency.

He also put them on notice about their agenda for the new year, saying he "will not sign any of their legislation, including infrastructure, unless it has ideal Border Security".

Ann Coulter, the high-profile media commentator who had been a vocal supporter, said if Mr Trump didn't get funding for the wall his presidency would be a "joke".

President Trump and House Republicans are facing their own "Read my lips" moment - and how they respond may well determine whether or not the President is reelected and House Republicans can regain the majority in the 2020 elections.

US President Donald Trump will not sign a stopgap spending bill because it does not contain border wall funding, Republican lawmakers said on Thursday (Dec 20), dramatically escalating chances of a government shutdown before Christmas.

"We're down to nearly single digits here", Roberts said about the large number of senators from both parties who left town after the Senate passed the stopgap bill late Wednesday night.

The U.S. Capitol Building Dome as seen through a beveled window at the Library of Congress in Washington, Wednesday. McConnell told colleagues mid-Thursday afternoon that they should expect votes around noon on Friday if the House cobbles together votes for a spending bill.

But a top House Democrat on Wednesday made clear that no matter what Trump calls the proposed barrier, that caucus - which takes control of the chamber in a few weeks - will not provide the necessary monies.

As House Republicans tried to head off conservative members' rebellion against the spending bill earlier Thursday, both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer flatly said Democrats would not approve money for the barrier. A person familiar with negotiations tells The Associated Press that the White House would prefer a longer-term package. He opposes funding construction of President Trump's border wall.

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"At the end of the day, we don't want to shut down the government", Sanders said on Fox News Channel.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said he and other senators at the sparsely attended GOP lunch found out Trump wouldn't sign the bill when someone read aloud a tweet with the news.

"The administration can not reprogram funds appropriated by Congress for the full wall without our assent, to do so would violate Congress' Article I powers", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the floor Wednesday.

Schumer says in a Senate speech that Freedom Caucus leaders have "no strategy at all" beyond shutting down the government. "They can not do it on their own and the House and Senate will not approve a wall from reprogrammed funds or anything else".

It's unclear whether the bill can pass the House.

More importantly, the border fencing Schumer backed in 2013 is different than how Trump has described his border wall.

Senate Democrats insist that they will not accept more than $1.6 billion for border security, and they're threatening to punish the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which includes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), if the President doesn't capitulate.

Throughout Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, "Build the wall!" was a rallying cry for his supporters.

Congress has a December 21 deadline to pass the bill otherwise funding for part of the federal government's operational expenditure will expire.

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