McConnell on shutdown: ‘I don’t think we’ll get to that point’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell sets Monday test vote on criminal justice bill Senate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump Former FBI official says Mueller won’t be ‘colored by politics’ in Russia probe MORE (R-Ky.) said he does not believe the government will shut down later this year amid a fight over President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE's border wall.

“I don’t think we’ll get to that point,” McConnell said Monday at the annual meeting of The Wall Street Journal CEO Council, urging Trump to negotiate with the newly elected Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

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McConnell’s comments came hours after congressional leaders agreed to a two-week government funding measure that would push back a shutdown deadline to Dec. 21 as the capital mourns the late President George H.W. Bush.

The most significant disagreement between the two parties is over funding for Trump’s wall, with the White House demanding $5 billion for it in a final spending bill and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) committing to $1.6 billion for broader border security. 

“He and Schumer and [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] need to sit down and discuss how to resolve the differences,” McConnell said.

The Kentucky Republican appeared cautiously optimistic that such partisan disagreements would not prevent progress in the next Congress, which will introduce a divided government for the first time since Trump took office.

“Both sides I think will be looking for things to do together,” he said, adding that the newly elected House Democratic majority has a “governing responsibility.”