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Shutdown Stalemate as House Plugs Border Wall Funds Back Into CR

Shutdown Stalemate as House Plugs Border Wall Funds Back Into CR

President Donald Trump embarked on a frenetic tweetstorm Friday morning in which he laid blame for a potential government shutdown squarely at the feet of Democrats - despite pledging earlier this month to take full responsibility for a shutdown in a televised brawl with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

"If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time", he wrote on Twitter.

A week ago, President Donald Trump said he'd be "proud" to shut down the government if Congress, led by fellow Republicans, didn't give him the money he wanted for his long-promised border wall with Mexico.

By afternoon, Trump shifted his terminology, saying he's not necessarily demanding a border wall but "steel slats" - which is similar to the border security fencing already provided for in the bill.

The Republican-led Senate had already approved a measure to fund the government through February 8 without the wall funds.

Hours later, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Meadows and fellow Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) met with Trump at the White House, after which Ryan said Trump made it clear he would not sign what the Senate passed.

This would allow the budget vote to pass by a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the 60 votes now required under filibuster rules.

"The President is having a meeting with Republican House members at noon today", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

"The president informed us that he will not sign the bill that came up from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns for border security", Ryan said afterward.

If the midnight deadline passes with no legislation in place, funding will expire for nine of the 15 cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies.

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Trump's tweet came ahead of a meeting with Senate Republicans to discuss the budget deal and border security.

Just before passing the spending bill, a group of Democratic senators took the unusual step of singing Christmas songs in the chamber as other lawmakers engaged in serious conversation. "People don't want Open Borders and Crime!" he said.

However, Trump has threatened to veto the bill, resulting in the predicament we are at now. I know tech better than anyone, & technology.on a Border is only effective in conjunction with a Wall.

Trump pushed Republican allies in the House of Representatives on Thursday to use the short-term funding bill as leverage to force through $US5 billion for the border wall despite Democratic objections.

Among those that have not finalized funding, and thus would be affected by the shutdown, include the Departments of State, Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice and Housing and Urban Development, plus a few smaller agencies, like NASA and the U.S. Postal Service.

As House Republicans settled on their plan to fight for Trump's wall, some Republican senators expressed frustration over the dispute and Trump's shifting signals over whether or not he would sign legislation to keep the government open.

A partial shutdown would force federal parks to close unless the government also declares them an essential service.

"Just this morning, several senators put out statements confirming their opposition, and confirming that there is not a majority in the conference to go down that road", David Popp said. The partial government shutdown could begin, or lawmakers could work to find a solution that Trump finds acceptable.

House politicians said they were being told to stay in town for more possible votes.