White House warns against including wall restrictions in stopgap bill

White House warns against including wall restrictions in stopgap bill

The White House is open to another stopgap spending bill, according to a top aide, but the Trump administration is also warning Democrats against including any border wall restrictions in the short-term bill needed to avoid a government shutdown.

Office of Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland said Tuesday that the White House is open to another continuing resolution to fund the government beyond Nov. 21 “as long as it does not restrict [President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE’s] authorities or abilities to pursue his policy priorities, including wall construction.”

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“We’re heartened to have continuing conversations with appropriate parties in Congress on the regular order spending bills, as well as a continuing resolution,” Ueland said ahead of a closed-door Senate GOP lunch on Capitol Hill.

To avoid a shutdown on Nov. 22, lawmakers will need to pass either the 12 appropriations bills or another continuing resolution to avoid a second shutdown this year.

The White House had previously asked for the current continuing resolution, signed in late September, to lift a restriction included in the fiscal 2019 funding bills that requires any border barrier money to be limited to the Rio Grande Valley sector.

Congress rejected the White House request to lift those restrictions in the funding measure, which extends fiscal 2019 spending levels through Nov. 21. Ueland sidestepped a question about whether the White House would need the Rio Grande Valley restriction lifted as part of the next short-term bill.

Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOfficials warn of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in water systems Graham, Hawley call on Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on US-Mexico border GOP senators urge Biden to keep Trump-era border restrictions MORE (W.Va.), a member of GOP leadership whose Appropriations subcommittee oversees funding for the Homeland Security Department, warned that there wasn’t “any kind of appetite” for another shutdown.

“I think [Trump] knows the feeling up here on the Hill and I don’t think it was a particularly enjoyable thing for him either,” she told The Hill.

Earlier this year, a record 35-day partial shutdown ended with Trump declaring a national emergency to leapfrog Congress and get more wall funding.

Although the Senate passed a package of four spending bills last week — its first for the 2020 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1 — Democrats say they cannot reconcile the legislation with the House versions until they agree on spending allocations for each of the 12 funding measures.

Negotiations on the top-line spending figures have been complicated largely by questions about potential wall funding. Trump has requested $8.6 billion for the wall in fiscal 2020 — an amount that is unlikely to pass both chambers of Congress.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyNational Guard cancels trainings after Congress fails to reimburse for Capitol riot deployment This week: Senate faces infrastructure squeeze GOP seeks to make Biden synonymous with inflation MORE (R-Ala.) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyLobbying world Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Biden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs MORE (D-N.Y.) have said another continuing resolution will be needed this month, though the length of the prospective stopgap is uncertain.

Ueland declined to weigh in on a time frame, saying it was up to congressional leadership to pitch the White House on a potential end date.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE (D-Calif.) said she has been in talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.) to find a way forward on spending legislation. McConnell, Senate GOP leadership and members of Democratic House leadership, including Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerMcCarthy mocks Cheney and Kinzinger as 'Pelosi Republicans' Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan MORE (Md.), are all said to favor an earlier, December deadline.

Both Shelby and Lowey have floated a February or March time frame, though Shelby and Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Schumer back down on his deadline? GOP fumes over Schumer hardball strategy Cybersecurity bills gain new urgency after rash of attacks MORE (Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, have indicated they would prefer a continuing resolution that doesn’t go beyond the end of the year.

“I think that’s the goal of the Speaker and McConnell ... that would be wonderful, that would be better than my assessment. My assessment was it could run through February,” Shelby told reporters Tuesday, adding that he would “love” to meet a December deadline.