/Trump assents to shutdown delay

Trump assents to shutdown delay

President Donald Trump listens to China's President Xi Jinping speak.

President Donald Trump listens to Chinese President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting at the G-20 Summit on Dec. 1 in Buenos Aires. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — President Donald Trump and congressional leaders are getting ready to punt on a major shutdown fight over Trump’s border wall for at least a week.

The president said he would back a two-week delay of a government shutdown battle after the death of former President George H.W. Bush. Government funding expires on Dec. 7 for several departments, including Homeland Security, and the president is urging Congress to send him at least $5 billion in border security. But Bush’s death has changed the calculation in Washington and appears likely to lead to a stopgap funding extension.

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GOP leaders are considering extending government funding for a week or two, according to multiple Republican sources. They are leaning toward one week, pushing the battle off until mid-December.

That’s in part because Bush’s death and plans for him to lie in state in the Capitol early this week will complicate any efforts to hammer out a large-scale funding deal before the Friday deadline, leading both the president and congressional leaders to seek a longer runway for the shutdown fight.

“If they [lawmakers] come, which they have, to talk about an extension because of President Bush’s passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it,” he told reporters while returning overnight Saturday from the G-20 summit in Argentina.

Trump, meanwhile, is scheduled to meet with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday, a meeting that for now is still scheduled despite Bush’s death.

Pelosi and Schumer are resisting Trump’s border funding demands, with Schumer sticking to a bipartisan $1.6 billion border security deal hammered out in the Senate‘s Appropriations Committee.

Everett and Bresnahan reported from Washington.

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