Posted on December 20, 2018

Trump Won’t Sign Spending Bill Without Wall Money

Jacob Pramuk, CNBC, December 20, 2018

President Donald Trump will not sign a Senate-passed spending bill, increasing the chances of a partial government shutdown.

The Senate unanimously approved the legislation Wednesday night to keep the government funded through Feb. 8. With Trump’s support, it appeared set to breeze through the House before the midnight Friday deadline to fund seven agencies that make up about a quarter of the government.

But Trump, who seeks $5 billion to build his proposed border wall, will refuse to sign the measure without his desired border security measures, House Speaker Paul Ryan said after a meeting with the president on Thursday. Trump’s decision throws more chaos into the late scramble to keep the government running through Christmas and into the new year.

“We just had a very long, productive meeting with the president,” Ryan told reporters after House Republicans met with Trump for more than an hour. “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.”


Trump’s desire for border wall funding leaves the path forward for Congress unclear. As House Republicans tried to head off conservative members’ rebellion against the spending bill earlier Thursday, both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer flatly said Democrats would not approve money for the barrier.

Ryan, standing next to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, said the leaders are “going to go back to the House and work with our members” on a solution that includes border security funding. The House later unveiled a bill that includes more than $5 billion in wall money and more than $8 billion in disaster relief funding.

A vote on the proposal will likely take place Thursday night. Pelosi tried to force a vote on the Senate-passed version Thursday afternoon, but Republicans sank her effort.

“We believe there is still time,” McCarthy said after the White House meeting. Republicans do not have a plan beyond the potential Thursday night vote, according to NBC News. Still, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators to prepare for a potential vote at around noon Friday, according to reports.