Trump, Senate leadership to huddle on border wall funding

Trump, Senate leadership to huddle on border wall funding
© Greg Nash

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal GOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout MORE (R-Ky.) will head to the White House this week to talk with President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE about funding the government, including resolving a fight over the controversial border wall.

Shelby said that he would likely have a better idea on where government funding talks stood after Thursday's meeting, but stressed that lawmakers and the president should not force a partial shutdown of the government next month.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I would always tell anybody, including the president, it’s not a good idea to shut down the government, period,” Shelby said.

Congress has until Dec. 7 to fund the rest of the government after lawmakers failed to approve seven of the 12 individual funding bills before the end of the fiscal year deadline.

Border wall funding has emerged as the biggest hurdle to getting a spending deal, though Shelby acknowledged Wednesday that other sticking points remain. Democrats also want to add legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE to the must-pass bill, though they’ve stopped short of threatening a shutdown over the issue.

The House’s Department of Homeland Security bill has $5 billion in border wall funding and the Senate has $1.6 billion. Though Democrats stress they want to secure the border, they’ve bristled at allowing a concrete structure or including more funding without an immigration deal.

Shelby added that senators and the White House need to figure out “what is doable” on wall funding by the December deadline.

“I can’t tell you,” he said, asked if $5 billion is “doable.”