STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Shutdown threat looms as Trump calls for border wall funding

As lawmakers return to Washington after Thanksgiving, Congress is careening toward a spending fight over Pre...

Posted: Nov 27, 2018 9:14 AM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 9:14 AM

As lawmakers return to Washington after Thanksgiving, Congress is careening toward a spending fight over President Donald Trump's campaign promise of a border wall that threatens to trigger a partial government shutdown.

The clock is ticking with funding for several government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, set to expire on December 7.

Appropriations

Border control

Budget deficits

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Economy and economic indicators

Elections and campaigns

Europe

Federal budget

Federal budget deficit

Government and public administration

Government budgets

Government organizations - US

Immigration

Immigration politics

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations

International relations and national security

Investigations

Legislation

National security

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Political platforms and issues

Politics

Public debt

Public finance

Robert Mueller

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

Territorial and national borders

US Congress

US Democratic Party

US federal government shutdowns

US House of Representatives

US political parties

US Republican Party

US Senate

US-Mexico border wall

Trump has asked for $5 billion in wall funding and is ratcheting up the pressure for Congress to allocate money for the wall, which he promised on the campaign trail would be paid for by Mexico. But Democrats are pushing back against that request and it exceeds the $1.6 billion in an existing Senate spending bill that would pay for fencing along the southwestern border.

Making efforts to reach a deal more complicated, Democrats are eying a potential demand of their own in an effort to pass a measure to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference, though they are so far signaling they won't shut down the government over it.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday called for the Mueller bill to be attached to spending legislation if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won't bring it to a floor vote, but stopped short of issuing an ultimatum or warning that there could be a shutdown over the issue.

"Nobody has said it that way," Sen. Patty Murray, a top appropriator and senior member of Senate Democratic leadership, told CNN when asked if Democrats would draw a red line over the spending bill if the Mueller plan is not included in it. "I think everybody feels very strongly we need to get the bill done -- how it gets done hasn't been the issue."

Asked if a shutdown could occur over the special counsel bill, Murray said: "There are so many others in the way -- I don't see that being one."

Top congressional Republicans meanwhile are expressing confidence they can reach a spending deal that would avert a shutdown, but are nevertheless acknowledging that a partial shutdown could occur even as they say they don't want it to happen.

"Where there's a will, there's a way," Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters when asked if he believes Congress can pass the remaining spending bills ahead of the upcoming deadline. But, he added, "There are a lot of variables to deal with ... I don't think the Democrats want to shut down the government over the border security issue. But they might. We'll see."

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said that "a government shutdown would be stupid," and that it would be "a grave mistake" if Democrats push to add the Mueller bill to must-pass spending legislation.

"That very well could lead to a government shutdown," he said.

Trump keeps the pressure on Congress

So far, Trump is ratcheting up the pressure. The President started the week by calling on Congress to fund his signature campaign promise and said earlier this month it could be a "good time" for a shutdown if he doesn't receive the funding he wants.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby told reporters on Monday that the President has said that his $5 billion request is a red line.

Asked if Trump would back off the $5 billion request, the Alabama Republican told CNN: "Not from my conversation with him." But the senator said that there could be a way to get close to the $5 billion request "depending on how the money is configured" since some money already appropriated by Congress has yet to be spent on the wall.

"It depends on how it's configured," Shelby said. "There's some money owed already and we talked about $1.6 billion, the House is at $5 billion -- it depends on how it's configured though."

Republicans managed to avoid a showdown over the border wall before the midterm elections by passing a spending package that funded much of the government, but effectively punted the border wall fight until after the election was over.

Republicans will only control both the House and the Senate for a little while longer, until the new Democrat-led House of Representatives takes over in January. But even under Republican control, spending bills must clear a 60-vote hurdle to pass in the Senate and Republicans currently have just 51 seats, meaning any funding legislation would still need some Democratic support to pass.

Democrats may be emboldened by the party's midterm victory to fight even harder against the President's demand for wall funding.

"The President is going to have to make a decision whether he wants to shut down the government after just having his hat handed to him in the election," Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut told reporters on Monday, predicting that it will be "hard to convince" Democrats to "give in" to what he described as "ridiculous demands to build a border wall that nobody wants."

But sat the same time, some influential Democrats are signaling there's still a chance a deal is cut to keep the government open by December 7 that would resolve all the outstanding issues, including Trump's border wall.

Asked if he could reach a deal by the deadline, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, said: "I could."

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 34°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 36°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 32°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 29°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 685321

Reported Deaths: 8391
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby761671128
Davidson70706661
Knox38646393
Hamilton34556326
Rutherford33114283
Unassigned22759126
Williamson21364138
Sumner18205230
Out of TN1612079
Wilson14405155
Montgomery14367149
Sullivan12577211
Washington11889191
Blount11887124
Maury10941123
Bradley1075190
Sevier10461108
Putnam9931136
Madison9099178
Robertson761885
Hamblen6954109
Anderson6759102
Greene6569108
Tipton619065
Gibson5630111
Coffee560681
Cumberland537872
Dickson534678
Bedford532086
Roane519179
Carter5091112
Lawrence507569
McMinn506673
Warren497553
Loudon493750
Jefferson474975
Dyer473682
Monroe455162
Hawkins444968
Franklin410758
Obion399478
Fayette396251
Rhea381556
Lincoln378344
Marshall343536
Cocke342856
Weakley339448
Cheatham335230
Henderson332056
Campbell323940
Giles321071
White310043
Hardeman308752
Carroll307859
Hardin297647
Lauderdale293131
Macon287350
Wayne260719
Henry260358
Overton252942
DeKalb241741
Haywood239745
McNairy238142
Smith230527
Trousdale228714
Marion227731
Scott225231
Hickman222734
Fentress212531
Claiborne210129
Grainger208135
Johnson201532
Morgan188614
Crockett180338
Bledsoe174110
Chester173237
Unicoi166843
Cannon157019
Lake155319
Decatur147226
Polk142817
Grundy139320
Union138721
Sequatchie136518
Humphreys132617
Benton131935
Lewis127220
Meigs114016
Stewart105220
Jackson103721
Perry94725
Houston93922
Clay93726
Moore7959
Pickett67619
Van Buren6587
Hancock4026

Community Events