WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday declined to rule out a potential border security compromise that could stave off this year’s second partial government shutdown.
“We’ll see what happens but I certainly hear they’re working on something, and both sides are moving along,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “We’ll see what happens. We need border security. We have to have it. It’s not an option. Let’s see what happens.”
The comments come as a bicameral, bipartisan committee on border security meets on Capitol Hill. The group’s top Republican, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), indicated Thursday that a compromise could come as soon as Monday.
Shelby met with Trump at the White House earlier in the day.
Thursday’s non-committal response represents a shift in tone for the president, who has previously threatened to not support any measure from lawmakers that does not include $5.7 billion to fund a wall.
Following a 35-day partial shutdown that ended Jan. 25, Trump agreed to fund the government through February 15.
He has previously said he will either allow government funding to lapse or declare a national emergency if a wall is not agreed to by lawmakers.
Democrats have consistently opposed the president’s proposed barrier.