WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers are trying to reach a deal to satisfy President Donald Trump’s request to include $5 billion for a border wall in an upcoming spending bill.
“We’re talking about it. We’re trying to get the president the money he would like for the wall,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said in response to a question at a news conference on Tuesday.
He added: “That’s part of the year end funding discussion, which is ongoing, not only among the appropriators, but with the administration as well.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Tuesday that Democrats will not agree to provide more than $1.6 billion for the wall.
Schumer went on to say that the administration has not even spent “a penny of the $1.3 billion” that was allocated for border security in the FY 2018 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.
Trump has threatened a government shutdown if Congress does not agree to the request.
If an agreement is not reached, a partial government shutdown will occur after 11:59:59 p.m. EDT. on Friday Dec. 7.
Schumer said if a shutdown occurs President Trump will no have one to blame but himself.
In September, Congress passed a series of so-called minibus bills that covered 5 of the 12 annual appropriations bills that fund the government.
A partial shutdown would affect key executive agencies such as the Department of Justice and the Department of State. However, critical personnel in those departments would still be paid.