Mitch McConnell: Shutdown Unlikely, White House ‘Extremely Flexible’ on Wall Funding

A Honduran migrant helps other immigrants cross to the U.S. side of the border wall, in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Thousands of migrants who traveled via caravan are seeking asylum in the U.S., but face a decision between waiting months or crossing illegally, because the U.S. government only …
AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said during a press conference on Tuesday that he believes the government will not shut down, suggesting the White House has been “extremely flexible” on how to resolve the December 21 government funding deadline.

McConnell spoke on Tuesday after he met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) regarding the issue of funding the government before the December 21 deadline, as well as including border wall funding in the spending package. If Congress does not pass a spending bill before December 21, the government will partially shut down.

The leading Senate Republican reportedly floated the Senate bipartisan Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill, which includes $1.6 billion for border security, as well as roughly $1 billion for President Donald Trump to use for his immigration agenda.

The Kentucky Republican described this proposal to Schumer as “reasonable.”

McConnell said that the White House has been “extremely flexible” on the issue as lawmakers and the White House continue to find a solution that would include border wall funding in the December spending bill.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders suggested Tuesday that they might have “other ways” to secure border wall funding, and suggested during a White House press briefing that they will ask their cabinet secretaries to look for ways to obtain border wall funding.

Schumer said during a press conference on Tuesday that the White House could not reprogram money for constructing a wall on America’s southern border, contending that it would require “congressional approval.”

Schumer also said that he rejected McConnell’s spending bill offer, saying that he could not accept a billion dollar immigration slush fund.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Tuesday that the fight over wall funding does not amount to the dollar cost of the wall, but rather the morality behind the wall.

“The wall is not about money. The wall is about morality, Pelosi told reporters. “It’s the wrong thing to do. It doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It’s the wrong thing to do, and it’s a waste of money.”

Schumer said that if Leader McConnell were to offer a short-term continuing resolution (CR), Democrats would “very seriously look at it.”


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