Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Congress seeks 2-week extension to avert government shutdown | AP business

Congress seeks 2-week extension to avert government shutdown | AP business

A December 7 partial government shutdown had appeared possible, but Trump told reporters on Air Force One Saturday he would be willing to sign a two-week government funding extension to allow for ceremonies honoring former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday.

Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94, will be memorialized on Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington.

Most of the full spending deal has been ironed out, according to Politico, but President Trump needs to agree with Democrats on the final bill.

Trump has demanded $5 billion for this year as part of his plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico that Democrats argue would be ineffective at keeping out illegal immigrants and illicit drugs.

Congress has already passed - and President Trump has signed - five of the 12 annual funding bills for fiscal 2019.

"Could somebody please explain to the Democrats (we need their votes) that our Country losses 250 Billion Dollars a year on illegal immigration, not including the awful drug flow", Trump wrote on Tuesday.

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Senator Lindsey Graham told One America News a DACA fix could be a good compromise to get Democrats to approve wall funding.

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Congressman Hice's comment arises as House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said on Tuesday that Democrats could give President Trump up to $1.6 billion so long as much of the spending goes toward border security, not building the wall.

"If [members of Congress] come - which they have - to talk about an extension because of President Bush's passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it", Trump said. According to a former administration official who spoke to the Post, the Bush family contacted the White House this summer to welcome Trump to the funeral.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Republicans are now pushing for $2.5 billion in wall funding this year combined with an additional $2.5 billion to be allocated next year. Chuck Schumer of NY and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, to the White House for a meeting Tuesday, officials said.

Hoyer then told reporters that he could he could help draft border security language in such a vague manner to appease most of his Democrat caucus. The current spending agreement expires on Friday.

Almost three-quarters of the federal government has been funded for the fiscal year that runs through September 30, 2019, but a stalemate remains over wall funding and several remaining federal agencies, including the Justice and State departments.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that they could support up to $1.6 billion in border security, not border wall funding, "that was included in a bipartisan Senate bill".

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