President Donald Trump informed congressional Republicans on Thursday that he “will not sign” the short-term spending bill passed by the Senate, citing a lack of funding for a border wall with Mexico.
The Associated Press reported that outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters after meeting with Trump that he and other leaders are “working on adding border security” to the legislation.
BREAKING: Speaker Ryan says Trump `will not sign’ bill to keep government open, citing dispute over border wall funding.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 20, 2018
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “We believe there’s still time.”
BREAKING: Pres won’t sign funding bill to avert shutdown. Emerging from meeting with @POTUS, @SpeakerRyan and @GOPLeader say they’ll go back to work on a bill that adds the funding for border security that the President wants. “We believe there’s still time,” says McCarthy. pic.twitter.com/mG9y1TqaE4
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 20, 2018
In addition to Ryan and McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Freedom Caucus member Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio were also attending the White House meeting with Trump, CNBC reported.
Both Meadows and Jordan have been publicly pushing the president to make a stand on border wall funding now rather than wait until after the Democrats take control of the House next month.
In a high-profile debate with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer last week, the president communicated his willingness to shut down the government if he did not receive $5 billion to fund a border wall and other security measures.
Schumer countered with an offer to keep the Department of Homeland Security funding at fiscal year 2018 levels, which would provide $1.6 billion for border security.
The Democrat told reporters on Thursday a “Trump shutdown will not convince a single Democrat to support bilking the American taxpayer for an ineffective, unnecessary and exorbitantly expensive wall.”
Trump tweeted Thursday morning that Democrats were “putting politics over country,” adding, “What they are just beginning to realize is that I will not sign any of their legislation, including infrastructure, unless it has perfect Border Security.”
The Democrats, who know Steel Slats (Wall) are necessary for Border Security, are putting politics over Country. What they are just beginning to realize is that I will not sign any of their legislation, including infrastructure, unless it has perfect Border Security. U.S.A. WINS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2018
During his Oval Office debate with Schumer and Pelosi last week, Trump noted illegal alien traffic dropped 92 percent in the San Diego sector; 95 percent in El Paso, Texas; and 92 percent and 95 percent in Tucson and Yuma, Arizona, respectively, after fencing and other barriers were added.
Trump: “I am proud to shut down the government for border security … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it” pic.twitter.com/o4xmLRMOTH
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 11, 2018
Pelosi questioned the accuracy of Trump’s numbers, but they are consistent with statistics given by the Border Patrol to NPR in 2006 following the initial erection of double and triple fencing in the San Diego area.
Border Patrol agent Jim Henry told the news outlet apprehensions in his sector dropped 95 percent, from 100,000 to 5,000 per year.
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