Senate Bill Avoids Shutdown, Ignores Trump's Wall Demand

McConnell says Senate will take up a short-term measure to fund government till Feb. 8
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 19, 2018 10:50 AM CST
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., left, and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, right, arrives to speak to reporters about the possibility of a partial government...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Mitch McConnell said the Senate will take up a short-term measure Wednesday to fund the federal government through Feb. 8, a move that eases the risk of a shutdown and comes only after President Trump backed off his demand for border wall funds. McConnell opened the Senate saying it was a "simple" bill but will show that Republicans will finish the year by governing rather than prolonging a potential crisis, reports the AP. "We can continue this vital debate after the new Congress has convened," he said. The swift turn of events came after Trump moved off his demand for $5 billion for a US-Mexico border wall. But facing criticism from supporters, Trump continued to argue Wednesday the wall would be built.

Without a resolution, more than 800,000 government workers could be furloughed or sent to work without pay beginning at midnight Friday. The stopgap measure would simply approve government funding at existing levels, without a boost for the border, and Trump hasn't said that he would sign it. But White House counselor Kellyanne Conway signaled Wednesday that he may consider it, saying, "He'll take a look at that, certainly." On Twitter, Trump appeared to respond to criticism Wednesday that he was backing down, insisting that "one way or the other, we will win on the Wall!" Trump also argued that Mexico will pay "indirectly" for the wall because the terms of the NAFTA replacement will boost US revenue. But that outcome isn't assured and is not the same as his campaign promise that Mexico would pay for the wall, which the country has refused to do.

(Read more government shutdown stories.)

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