Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday morning on the Senate floor that he will introduce a short-term spending bill to fund the government through February 8 that will not include the border security or border wall funding that President Donald Trump has previously demanded.
The Senate is expected to vote on the continuing resolution Wednesday morning. Congress and the president must agree on a funding measure by midnight on Friday in order to avoid a partial government shutdown.
The move to put a clean funding bill up for a vote comes after Democrats on Tuesday reiterated they would not support any funding measure that allocates money for the president’s long-promised southern border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Democrats have been perfectly clear,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor following McConnell’s announcement. “We want smart, effective border security. That’s not a wall.”
“In the meantime,” McConnell said, “we will turn to a clean continuing resolution later today so we can make sure we don’t end this year the way we began it, with another government shutdown because of Democrats’ allergy to sensible policies.”
The Senate, McConnell added, will “continue this vital debate” on border wall and border security funding “after the new Congress has convened.”
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway seemed to indicate to Fox News Wednesday morning that Trump would consider the clean funding measure, despite no funding for the wall. He previously said he would be “proud” to shut down the government over border wall funding.
The president appeared to back down on Tuesday from his previous demand for $5 billion in border wall funding. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump would seek “other ways” to get funding in order to avert a partial government shutdown.
“At the end of the day we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border from illegal immigration,” she said.