McConnell 'optimistic' shutdown can be avoided

McConnell 'optimistic' shutdown can be avoided
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate Democrats question GOP shift on vaccines Has Trump beaten the system? MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday said he doesn’t think a government shutdown will happen, despite recent threats from President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE.

Asked about Trump’s threat to shut down the government over funding for a border wall, McConnell said “I’m optimistic we can avoid a government shutdown.”


A senior Republican aide noted that the appropriations bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has jurisdiction over the border, will not make it to Trump’s desk until after the election. That means the president won’t know whether funding for the border wall is in legislation until after the election, the aide noted.

The aide predicted that Congress will pass seven appropriations bills and Trump will sign them into law before the election.

“We got the whole month of August dedicated to appropriations,” the aide said. “This notion that we’re going to shut down the government — everyone needs to dial down the panic button a couple notches.”

McConnell announced Monday afternoon that the Senate will move other spending bills before the DHS funding measure.

“We’ll finish up the set of appropriations measures we’ve been considering for several days and take four more big steps toward our goal of completing a regular appropriations process and funding the government in a timely and orderly manner,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.