ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — President Donald Trump and congressional leaders are getting ready to punt on a major shutdown fight over Trump’s border wall for at least a week.
The president said he would back a two-week delay of a government shutdown battle after the death of former President George H.W. Bush. Government funding expires on Dec. 7 for several departments, including Homeland Security, and the president is urging Congress to send him at least $5 billion in border security. But Bush’s death has changed the calculation in Washington and appears likely to lead to a stopgap funding extension.
GOP leaders are considering extending government funding for a week or two, according to multiple Republican sources. They are leaning toward one week, pushing the battle off until mid-December.
That’s in part because Bush’s death and plans for him to lie in state in the Capitol early this week will complicate any efforts to hammer out a large-scale funding deal before the Friday deadline, leading both the president and congressional leaders to seek a longer runway for the shutdown fight.
“If they [lawmakers] come, which they have, to talk about an extension because of President Bush’s passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it,” he told reporters while returning overnight Saturday from the G-20 summit in Argentina.
Trump, meanwhile, is scheduled to meet with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday, a meeting that for now is still scheduled despite Bush’s death.
Pelosi and Schumer are resisting Trump’s border funding demands, with Schumer sticking to a bipartisan $1.6 billion border security deal hammered out in the Senate‘s Appropriations Committee.
Everett and Bresnahan reported from Washington.