The US Congress on Thursday December 20th steered toward preventing a partial federal shutdown as leaders hoped for final passage of a temporary government funding bill that still leaves President Donald Trump without money for his promised border wall.
The short-term spending measure would fund seven government agencies until February 8th, but it does not include the $5 billion Trump asked for to construct his long-desired wall along the US-Mexico border.
Meanwhile, Trump has attacked Democrats again for not supporting the wall and said he would not sign any legislation that does not include it, possibly threatening the spending bill that Congress is negotiating.
“When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership. Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries - but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!” he tweeted.
If Trump refuses to sign the measure by Friday this week, it would trigger a partial shutdown.
The bill has been blasted by conservative lawmakers and right-wing pundits on cable news who have sway with Trump, who has thus far refused to say publicly if he will sign it.
However, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have said Republican leaders have received assurances that Trump will sign the stopgap spending bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR).
In a late-night session on Wednesday, the Senate approved a bill to provide money to keep a series of programmes operating until February 8th. But it defied the president by refusing to give him any of the $5 billion he demanded to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall, his key campaign promise.