Senate Republicans Rush to Avoid Government Shutdown

Republican lawmakers in the Senate are working on a stopgap bill which would extend the funding of the federal government to February 8, three sources said.

They added, however, that with some senators pushing for a broader deal, the decision to move forward on the short-term plan hasn’t been finalized yet. The final decision is expected to be made by Wednesday the latest, the sources also noted, after which President Donald Trump needs to sign the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that his party would most likely support a stopgap bill.

The short-term spending measure comes in a reversal from the White House’s initial stance and the President’s refusal to give up his demand for $5 billion in border wall funding, a nonstarter for Democrats that raised fears of a government shutdown.

In a televised Oval Office meeting last week, Trump clashed with Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on the need for border wall funding. By the end of the meeting, President Trump even said he would be proud to shut down the government.

“I’ll tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. So, I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it,” he told the top Senate Democrat.

However, on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said they had “other ways that we can get to that $5 billion,” adding that they could agree to a compromise bill to keep the government open.

“We will work with Congress if they will make sure we get a bill passed that provides not just the funding for the wall, but there’s a piece of legislation that’s been pushed around that Democrats actually voted 26-5 out of committee that provides roughly $26 billion for border security including $1.6 billion for the wall,” Sanders told Fox News. “That’s something that we would be able to support as long as we can couple that with other funding resources.”

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