Congress Ready to Punt Spending Fight for Two Weeks

Congress, Trump Look To Put Budget Fight On Hold Until After Bush Funeral

President Donald Trump said he's willing to push back a US government funding deadline as Washington prepares to honor former President George H.W. Bush, who died late Friday. And even some Republicans balk at spending more than the $1.6 billion for fencing and other security improvements already provided.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he is willing to extend the deadline for funding the federal government to avoid a government shutdown.

Trump had been expected to meet Tuesday with the two top Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of NY - to discuss how to resolve the remaining sticking points on appropriations, according to sources familiar with the talks.

But it is the fight over money for President Trump's planned wall on the USA border with Mexico that has been the main sticking point in the talks so far.

Getty President Donald Trump speaks with reporters.

"We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall".

"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.

A person familiar with the arrangements said the Bush team and Trump White House have been in close contact in planning an eventual funeral for the elder President Bush for months, marking a departure from what has been a long-running feud between President Trump and the Bush family.

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While Democrats would have preferred a one-week bill, they will not object to approving the two-week stopgap, according to a Democratic aide.

Trump said he's likely to sign the short-term CR into law, which would prevent a partial shutdown of operations at the nine Cabinet departments and dozens of smaller agencies still without full-year appropriations.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, predicted that Democrats would be blamed for any shutdown, though Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut down the government over wall funding.

A group of border-state House Democrats sent Schumer a letter last week expressing opposition to any funding for the wall, which they said would separate local communities and antagonize Mexico. "That includes Leader Schumer".

"I think a lot of them would want to pass our appropriation bills", Shelby said.

McConnell told reporters in Louisville on Saturday it's up to Trump "to do a deal with the Democrats". The current spending agreement expires on Friday.

But funding for other departments and agencies, which include the IRS, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security, would lapse if Congress doesn't act.

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