Trump backs down on border wall funding

Delia Watkins
May 7, 2017

Even if the fight over wall funding is over, Republicans and Democrats still have hard issues to resolve as they face a Friday night deadline when existing money expires for many federal agencies. And well continue to ask for more in FY18, ? he said.

And not a single member of the House or Senate who actually represents a border district or state - a group that includes both Democrats and Republicans - supports building a wall.

Kellyanne Conway, the president's counselor, said that Trump remains committed to constructing the wall but suggested that the president was willing to wait for funding in the interest of avoiding a shutdown.

Democratic votes are invariably needed to pass catchall spending bills, which typically are resented by many tea party Republicans.

Congress must pass a $1tn catch-all spending bill to pay for all agencies of government or trigger a partial shutdown on Saturday, which happens to coincide with the 100th day of Trump's presidency.

Short-term funding measures, known as continuing resolutions and covering periods of days or weeks, have been used to avert shutdowns in the past. But in 2013, conservative Republicans forced a 17-day shutdown in a failed attempt to repeal then-President Barack Obama's healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act.

But Trump's promise to build an "impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, handsome southern border wall" paid for by Mexico was special.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said Republican negotiators were following the lead of Trump, who signaled Monday evening that he would not insist on $1 billion worth of wall funding now as an addition to the $1 trillion-plus spending bill.

Despite promising to build a wall on the United States' border with Mexico "immediately" if he became president, Donald Trump has indicated he will scrap plans to find cash for his border wall in the spending bill.

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After Trump went public with his budget proposal last month, in which he included his request for funding to start construction of the wall, Democrats warned Trump that they would block any budget bill that included it.

"I'm sure the president has a much better sense of the legislative process than he did a year ago or even 100 days ago, and every president does, no matter how well prepared they think they are for that job", said Sen.

"My base definitely wants the border wall, my base really wants it", the president told AP White House correspondent Julie Pace in the interview Friday. House Republicans have stated before that these are illegal payments because Congress never authorized the subsidy.

"We're pleased he's backing off", Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Tuesday.

"The wall is going to get built", he said at the White House on Tuesday.

Building the wall was Trump's signature campaign promise, but Democrats are quick to point out that Trump had pledged that Mexico would pay for it.

That's good, if it's true, and not just because the wall would cost $20 billion or more - possibly much more - that could be invested in, well, making America greater.

"I think we're all recognizing that his message is one that he wants a secure border". Such spending, not explicitly for a wall, would likely be acceptable to both parties.

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