Ryan: Trump willing to be patient on wall funding
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday indicated President Trump is easing up on his demand for border wall funding in the next major government spending bill, a move that would lower the odds of a shutdown in October.
”The president’s willing to be patient to make sure that we get what we need so we can that done,” Ryan said, adding that funding the wall was “not a question of if, it’s a question of when.”
In May, Trump said he was going to “demand” that any stopgap measure to keep the government operating past Sept. 30 include funds to “secure the border.” The tweet was widely seen as a threat that he would veto any continuing resolution (CR), prompting a government shutdown, if the spending measure does not included funding for the border wall.
Ryan and McConnell met with Trump at the White House on Wednesday to discuss their strategy for funding the government. Congress is planning to pass most appropriations bills in batches and then send them to the president for his signature ahead of Sept. 30, the last day of the fiscal year.
‘We think we have a very good chance of having these appropriations bill done and into law before the fiscal year deadline,” Ryan said. “There will be some bills that don’t pass, that won’t be ready or done by then, and we’ll need a CR to bridge us over until later on.”
One of the goals is to sign the defense spending bill before Sept. 30, he added.
Signing some but not all funding bills into law would result in a more-limited shutdown in the event that a stopgap measure isn’t signed into law.
But the path forward for wall funding remains unclear.
The House Appropriations Committee approved $5 billion in spending for the wall in its Homeland Security bill on Wednesday, but the Senate’s version of the legislation contains only $1.6 billion, alongside requirements that funds only be used to reinforce existing physical barriers.
Democrats like Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, have warned that the House bill is a “nonstarter.”
Passing spending bills in the Senate requires the support of at least 60 senators, meaning Republicans will need Democrats on board to advance legislation.
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