McConnell predicts no shutdown: Trump 'flexible' on border deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Ernst: Renaming Confederate bases is the 'right thing to do' despite 'heck' from GOP Advocacy groups pressure Senate to reconvene and boost election funding MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said the Trump administration is “extremely flexible” on striking a spending deal and predicted there would not be a partial government shutdown.

McConnell confirmed that he offered Democrats a deal to spend $1.6 billion on border fencing — the same amount approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this year — and provide another $1 billion to the administration for other immigration matters.

The GOP leader told reporters he thought it was a “reasonable” offer and a way to “thread the needle.” Asked if he was confident that a partial shutdown would be avoided when government funding expires at the end of Friday, McConnell said, “Yeah, I am.” 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' A renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs MORE (D-N.Y.), however, called McConnell on Tuesday to inform the GOP leader that such a proposal was unacceptable.

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House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAs coronavirus surges, Trump tries to dismantle healthcare for millions Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus poses questions about school safety; Trump commutes Roger Stone sentence Pelosi plans legislation to limit pardons, commutations after Roger Stone move MORE (Calif.) also told reporters before lunchtime that she would not accept the offer.

McConnell argued on Tuesday afternoon that Pelosi has “little latitude” to strike an agreement because she is facing a vote to elect her House Speaker early next month, suggesting that she is holding up a possible compromise.

The Senate GOP leader said he will continue to consult with Trump.

The White House signaled earlier Tuesday that it wants to avoid a partial government shutdown over Trump's demand for border wall funding.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during an appearance on Fox News that Trump has "other ways" to get to the $5 billion he wants for a wall.

“At the end of the day we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border from illegal immigration,” she said.

McConnell argued that Congress should pass a minibus appropriations package of seven spending bills instead of a short-term stopgap that would simply punt the funding negotiations until early next year.