Trump, Senate leadership to huddle on border wall funding

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

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyFive takeaways from Trump's budget Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Trump unveils 2020 budget | Calls for cuts to NIH | Proposes user fees on e-cigs | Azar heads to Capitol to defend blueprint | Key drug price bill gets hearing this week Trump's emergency declaration looms over Pentagon funding fight MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left MORE (R-Ky.) will head to the White House this week to talk with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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.”