President Trump Torpedoes Shutdown Talks; Says he Won’t Sign Spending Bill Without Money for Border Wall

President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing for Kansas City to address the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference, on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing for Kansas City to address the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference, on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A holiday government shutdown appeared more likely on Thursday after President Donald Trump informed House Republicans he would refuse to accept a stop-gap measure — already passed by the Senate — that doesn’t include funds for his long-promised border wall.

What was once a deal to avoid a Christmas partial shutdown was torpedoed Thursday by conservatives and Trump, who unleashed fury at another agreement that stops short of providing the $5 billion the President has demanded for the border.

It was a closing burst of wrath in the final days of the Republican-majority House. If Trump cannot secure the money he is demanding for the wall now, it’s unlikely he will see a spending bill that meets his requirement for at least two years as Democrats assume control.

The uncertainty sent lawmakers scrambling to devise a solution that could keep funds flowing to some government agencies after Friday’s deadline. It’s not clear if there are enough votes in the House for a bill that would include the $5 billion in border wall funding; in the Senate, where any measure will require 60 votes to clear procedural hurdles, there are almost certainly not enough votes.

Stewing at the White House, Trump ranted on Twitter that he’d been down a similar road earlier this year, only to find himself again in the same position. His press secretary said he wouldn’t move forward without the billions in funding for “steel slats or a wall.”

He summoned House Republicans — who thought they’d struck a deal to avert a shutdown — for noontime talks at the White House.

“President Trump just met with Republican Members of the House. Not surprisingly, they all feel strongly about border security — stopping the flow of drugs, stopping human trafficking and stopping terrorism. We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation. We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said following the White House meeting.

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SOURCE: Kevin Liptak and Allie Malloy, CNN