President Trump said Monday he is open to getting money for his proposed wall at the southern border in the fall, instead of in a spending bill this week.
Trump made the comments to group of conservative journalists whom he hosted at the White House, according to White House reporter Trey Yingst of One America News.
On funding the border wall, Trump said he could get it this week or the administration could come back to it in September.— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) April 24, 2017
If Trump punts on his demand for border wall money now, it could lessen the chances of a government shutdown later this week.
The White House and Congress have been at an impasse over Trump’s demand that the must-pass spending bill include more than $1 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The standoff had created a shutdown crisis; lawmakers have until midnight Friday to pass a bill to fund the government and avert a shutdown.
Democrats say money for a border wall is a deal breaker, and they have rejected talk of trading wall funds for a major Democratic priority Trump has vowed to defund: federal subsidies for insurers who provide coverage to low-income ObamaCare enrollees.
A government shutdown, especially one falling on Saturday, Trump’s 100th day in office, would represent a huge political black eye for the new president just weeks after an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace effort imploded in the House.
Trump and his aides had not gone as far as to say that he would veto a spending bill without money for the wall. But the president amped up the pressure on Congress earlier Monday in a string of tweets.
He called the wall a “very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth.”
“If the wall is not built, which it will be, the drug situation will NEVER be fixed the way it should be! #BuildTheWall.”
Scott Wong contributed.