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

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanLobbying world John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America House Democrat calls for halt to lawmakers sleeping in their offices MORE (R-Wis.) said Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump anti-reg push likely to end up in court Biden set to make risky economic argument against Trump Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel 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.

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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 ScaliseHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Pelosi makes fans as Democrat who gets under Trump's skin Trump, GOP go all-in on anti-China strategy 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 JohnsonHouse chair threatens subpoenas if Pompeo doesn't provide Biden docs he gave Senate GOP Senate confirms Ratcliffe to be Trump's spy chief Schumer dubs GOP 'conspiracy caucus' amid Obama-era probes 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 CollinsStakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill The other dangerous virus infecting our country 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.