McConnell: Funding talks with Trump 'to continue'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet MORE (R-Ky.) says he will continue negotiations with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE this afternoon and plans to begin Senate debate on a House-passed spending bill that includes border wall funding.

“We’re going to continue to be talking this afternoon and right now I’m going to open the Senate and begin to move forward with a process on the House-passed bill,” McConnell told reporters after returning from a meeting with Trump at the White House.

The House on Thursday passed a short-term funding bill that provides $5.7 billion to construct a border wall, but Senate Democrats say they will block it.

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McConnell attended the meeting with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills Senate Democrats block government spending bill Senate Democrats demand wall-free spending allocation MORE (R-Ala.) and other Senate GOP colleagues.

Incoming Senate Republican Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' Trump administration floats background check proposal to Senate GOP MORE (S.D.) said that if the Senate defeats the bill, GOP leaders will gather to decide next steps. 

He said Congress could vote on various levels of border security funding, such as the $1.6 billion for border fencing and $1 billion for immigration-related matters that McConnell offered to Democrats earlier in the week. 

“I suspect that if that vote doesn’t prevail — and I hopes it prevails — then I think we probably have to huddle up with the House and figure out what the next steps are,” Thune said. 

“There could be a lot of iterations of things you could do. You could collapse the amount, meet the Democrats somewhere [in the middle],” he said.

—Updated at 1:31 p.m.