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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Green New Deal Resolution invites big picture governing ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire MORE (R-Ky.) said he does not believe the government will shut down later this year amid a fight over President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.”