Senate

McConnell: Trump border wall fight will happen after midterms

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that he expects a fight over funding for President Trump's border wall to happen after November's midterm elections. 

"The nine bills that we're going to put on [Trump's] desk before the end of September, which is the end of the fiscal year, deal with other substance but ... also 90 percent of the federal budget will have been approved before the end of the fiscal year," McConnell said during an appearance on Fox News Wednesday evening.

He added that Republicans "are in favor of the wall."

"We still want to get funding for the wall," he said. "But we think the best time to have that discussion is after the election." 

The Senate has made progress in passing its bills to fund the government. Asked if he was concerned Trump would "torch" that work over a lack of border wall funding, McConnell dismissed the possibility. 

Congress has until the end of the month to pass legislation keeping the government open past Sept. 30. The Senate has passed nine of the 12 individual funding bills, but has yet to get a deal on any of the "minibus" funding packages with the House. 

McConnell added that he expects most of the government will be funded before the deadline, but lawmakers will need a short-term patch for a portion of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security. 

"I expect us to do a short-term continuing resolution for the balance of the funding and have the discussion about how to fund the wall after the election," he said.  

But his comments come hours after Trump renewed his threat of a government shutdown over border security. 

"If it happens it happens. If it's about border security, I'm willing to do anything," Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. Trump met with GOP leadership at the White House earlier that day to discuss funding the government. 

Funding for Trump's border wall has loomed over government funding negotiations.

Congress has split on how much money to include in their fiscal year 2019 bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The House bill includes $5 billion for border wall funding, while the Senate's legislation includes $1.6 billion. 

McConnell appeared confident that Congress would not have its third government shutdown of the year. 

Asked about the chance of a government shutdown, McConnell added: "No chance of a government shutdown."

"Zero?" asked Fox News's Brett Baer. McConnell parroted back: "Zero." 

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