Trump tells GOP he won't sign stopgap, threatening shutdown

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Debate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 MORE (R-Wis.) said Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE will not sign a stopgap spending bill over concerns about border security, a decision that significantly increases the risk of a government shutdown. 

“The president informed us that he will not sign the bill,” Ryan told reporters at the White House after meeting with Trump. 

Trump’s choice effectively torpedoes a spending bill that would fund the government through Feb. 8, but does not provide additional funding for his long-desired wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Lawmakers have until the end of Friday to reach a new agreement or funding will lapse for the Department of Homeland Security and six other government agencies.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a minute-long statement on the driveway outside the West Wing, the Speaker said lawmakers would work on adding border security measures to the funding bill, but did not specifically mention border-wall funding.

“We have very serious concerns about securing our border. The president said, ‘I will not sign this bill.’ So we're going to go back and work on adding border security to this,” Ryan said.

House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseSenate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump Amash storm hits Capitol Hill Trump hits Amash after congressman doubles down on impeachment talk MORE (R-La.) later told reporters that Republicans will add $5 billion in funding for border security, including physical barriers, as well as money for disaster relief to the stopgap spending measure.

“We’ll move that later on today — this is about securing America’s border,” Scalise said at the Capitol.

Democrats have said they will not accept Trump's demands for more border wall funding and it is unclear whether such a package would have enough votes to pass the House. The Senate on Wednesday approved the stopgap spending bill without wall money by voice vote.

But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated after the meeting that wall funding would be included in order to secure Trump’s support.

“We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation. We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall,” she said.

Trump’s abrupt decision to oppose the legislation capped days of uncertainty about where he stood on the spending debate.

White House aides had signaled publicly and privately that Trump was prepared to drop his demand for $5 billion in wall funding, even though the president never announced whether he would support such a plan.

Conservative lawmakers and right-wing pundits have pressured Trump to veto a the spending deal, arguing the lack of border wall money would anger his base.

GOP senators, however, were exasperated at the president’s decision to reject the agreement they had passed just one day earlier.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Barr throws curveball into Senate GOP 'spying' probe Bipartisan group of senators introduce legislation designed to strengthen cybersecurity of voting systems MORE (R-Wis.) said many members have returned to their home states for the holidays so there may not be enough Republicans remaining in Washington to pass another spending bill with border-wall funding.

“You’re ruining my life,” Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights MORE (R-Maine) said when told by reporters of Trump’s decision.

— Juliegrace Brufke and Jordain Carney contributed to this report, which was updated at 2:04 p.m.