President Donald Trump threatened a government shutdown if Congress failed to fund his border security and immigration reform priorities, but the White House stressed that the fight could be postponed until after the mid-term elections.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters that he discussed the issue with the president.
“He said, whether a shutdown happens before or after the elections, his focus is getting the problem fixed,” he related during remarks aboard Air Force One on Tuesday.
Trump’s shutdown threat immediately drew a response from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who said that any fights for wall funding would likely be postponed until after the election.
“I’m optimistic we can avoid a government shutdown,” McConnell said to reporters after the president’s comments.
Congressional Republicans plan to fund as much as the government as possible before the September 30 deadline and punt border security and DHS funding battles until after the midterm elections. Democrats anticipate taking back the House majority in November.
Gidley stressed that Trump wanted to deal with the border security and immigration reforms quickly.
“It’s been a 40-year problem in the making. It’s been dumped on his plate. He wants to fix it,” he said.