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 John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE’s] authorities or abilities to pursue his policy priorities, including wall construction.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 CapitoDemocrat Richard Ojeda announces Senate bid after dropping out of presidential race Spending bill to address miners' health care, pensions Manchin warns he'll slow-walk government funding bill until he gets deal on miners legislation 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 ShelbySenate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules Roberts under pressure from both sides in witness fight GOP senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Those are just statements' MORE (R-Ala.) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyHouse revives agenda after impeachment storm On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Senate approves Trump trade deal with Canada, Mexico | Senate Dems launch probe into Trump tax law regulations | Trump announces Fed nominees House Democrats unveil .35B Puerto Rico aid bill 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 PelosiOvernight Health Care: Justices won't fast-track ObamaCare case before election | New virus spreads from China to US | Collins challenger picks up Planned Parenthood endorsement Why Senate Republicans should eagerly call witnesses to testify Trump health chief: 'Not a need' for ObamaCare replacement plan right now MORE (D-Calif.) said she has been in talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump admin releases trove of documents on Ukrainian military aid The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions What to watch for on Day 2 of Senate impeachment trial 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 HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate 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 BluntSenate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial McConnell keeps press in check as impeachment trial starts What to watch for as Senate organizes impeachment on day one 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.