President Trump on Wednesday said he does not want to see another government shutdown, the latest indication he may sign a spending agreement that includes just a fraction of the funds he demanded for a border wall.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump blasted Democrats as “stingy” for not meeting his target for wall funding but said “we have options that most people don’t really understand” to circumvent Congress and build the barrier.
“I don’t want to see a shutdown. Shutdown would be a terrible thing,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with Colombian President Iván Duque.
“I don’t want to see another one," he added. "There’s no reason for it.”
Trump and his advisers have dropped hints he may sign the bipartisan spending agreement ever since Capitol Hill negotiators announced it on Monday evening, a decision that would please leaders in both political parties.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), the No. 4 House Democrat, earlier Wednesday predicted “the overwhelming majority” of his fellow party members would vote for the legislation following a caucus meeting where leaders sought to rally support for the measure.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has also expressed hope Trump will sign the legislation, saying Tuesday “I think he’s got a pretty good deal here.”
Lawmakers have yet to resolve disputes over related issues, such as an extension of the Violence Against Women Act and back pay for federal contractors, and the text remains incomplete with less than three days before the Feb. 15 funding deadline.
While the White House has indicated Trump will sign the measure, the president has stopped short of affirming he will do so. Trump on Wednesday said “we’ll be looking for landmines” when the legislative text arrives.
“We’ll take a very serious look at it,” he said.
The bipartisan agreement would provide $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of new barriers along the southern border, well short of Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion and less than what was included in a spending deal he rejected in December, which triggered a 35-day partial government shutdown that resulted in a massive hit to his approval ratings.
In exchange, Democrats dropped their demand for a hard cap on the number of immigrants that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is allowed to detain at a given time. Lawmakers instead included funding for an average of 45,000 detention beds over the fiscal year.
Original Post can be found at The Hill