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Trump, Senate leadership to huddle on border wall funding

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

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyCBC 'unequivocally' endorses Shalanda Young for White House budget chief Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head On The Money: Senate panels postpone Tanden meetings in negative sign | Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell makes failed bid to adjourn Senate after hours-long delay Paul Ryan to host fundraiser for Cheney amid GOP tensions Senate Democrats near deal to reduce jobless boost to 0 MORE (R-Ky.) will head to the White House this week to talk with President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food 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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened 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.”