House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday that President Donald Trump would not sign the Senate-passed short-term continuing resolution keeping the government open until February.
“The president informed us that he will not sign the bill that came over from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns for border security,” Ryan said to reporters at the White House, after a meeting with the president.
Trump met with Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise as well as Freedom Caucus rebels Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows at the White House to discuss the funding provision.
Ryan said that he would go back to members of Congress to negotiate more border security funding to the bill before moving forward on it.
“We want to keep the government open, but we also want to see an agreement that protects the border,” he said.
Ryan specifically referred to border security, not wall funding, but suggested that the president was ready to fight for more funds.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who joined Ryan at the White House, said that there was “still time” to work on adding border security to the bill.
“The president said that what the Senate sent over is just kicking the can down the road,” McCarthy said. “We want to solve this problem and we want to make sure we keep the government open.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed in a statement that Republican agreed with the president about border security.
“We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation,” she said in a statement to reporters. “We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall.”
Congressional Democrats have refused to add more border security to the bill, describing the president’s demands as a “Trump tantrum” that will not sway them.
Many House and Senate Republicans had hoped that the president would simply sign the continuing resolution offered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allowing members to leave town for Christmas.
A growing number of prominent conservatives and Trump supporters urged the president to stay and fight for the wall funding at the risk of a partial government shutdown.
On Thursday morning, Trump said he was not happy about Republicans failing to keep their promise about a fight for border funding after the midterm election.
“When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “It didn’t happen!”
When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership. Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries – but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2018