Trump, Senate leadership to huddle on border wall funding

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

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell protege emerges as Kentucky's next rising star Hillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches McConnell, GOP leaders say they won't be watching House impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ky.) will head to the White House this week to talk with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report 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.

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“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 MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' 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.”