Conservative Revolt Endangers Deal to Avoid a Shutdown


WASHINGTON — A deal to avert a Christmastime government shutdown teetered on Thursday amid growing anger from President Trump and a conservative revolt in the House that could block a bill to keep funds flowing past midnight Friday.

House Republicans emerged from a conference meeting Thursday morning disgruntled and without a guarantee from the leadership that the president would support a bill that would extend the government funding for nine federal departments past the Friday midnight deadline and into early February. The White House called an emergency meeting with House Republicans for noon.

The spending bill passed the Senate in a voice vote late Wednesday night but does not include funds demanded by Mr. Trump for a wall at the southern border. “At this moment, the president does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a statement on Thursday. “The president is continuing to weigh his options.”

[Here is what would happen if funding lapses this weekend.]

Though Mr. Trump has not publicly expressed an intent to sign or veto the bill, he already faced a fierce repudiation from the hard-line House Freedom Caucus and his supporters over a perceived retreat from his signature campaign promise.

Mr. Trump, following a phone call with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, indicated on Twitter that he was frustrated with the limitations of the stopgap spending bill, which both Democratic leaders endorsed.

“When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to the $1.3 trillion spending bill he angrily signed in March. “Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen!”

Mr. Ryan abruptly canceled a news conference after the phone call.

It was a final deluge of congressional chaos, with the House Republican leadership struggling to counter the mercurial mood from the White House and concerns that it was squandering the last moments of a Republican majority — a defeated caucus whose members have neglected to show up for votes this week.

Punting the impasse over wall funding until after the State of the Union address expected next month could give Mr. Trump the opportunity to showcase his argument for a border wall to the American people, some lawmakers said.

But it would put control of the fight in the hands of Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California and the likely successor to the speaker’s gavel.

“I think the question people are asking is: When is it better to have the fight? And is it better to have the fight on our own terms or is it better to have the fight on Nancy Pelosi’s terms?” said Representative Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, who will be in the Senate come January.

Some Southeastern lawmakers, sensing a final vehicle to carry unfinished legislative business, warned they would not support a bill that did not carry disaster relief for farmers devastated by storms earlier this year.

Some House Democrats also expressed frustration that a stopgap bill would stymie efforts to jump-start their own agenda when they take the majority in two weeks, according to a Democratic aide. Source NYTIMES


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