Trump signs short-term spend­ing bill

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - FROM PAGE ONE - By Er­ica Werner

WASHINGTON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Fri­day signed a short-term spend­ing bill that averts a par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down for now, post­pon­ing a fight over his bor­der wall until just be­fore Christ­mas.

The leg­is­la­tion ex­tends gov­ern­ment fund­ing for the Home­land Se­cu­rity Depart­ment, the Jus­tice Depart­ment, the Agri­cul­ture Depart­ment and some other gov­ern­ment agencies through Dec. 21. Fund­ing for those agencies had been set to ex­pire Fri­day at mid­night.

The White House and con­gres­sional lead­ers agreed to the two-week fund­ing ex­ten­sion in light of the death of for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush, who was hon­ored at the Capi­tol this week.

The House and Se­nate passed the short-term bill on Thurs­day. The House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee an­nounced Fri­day that Trump had signed it.

Trump and con­gres­sional Democrats are at an im­passe over how much to spend on Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der. That is the is­sue hold­ing up com­ple­tion of the spend­ing bills, which are al­ready two months over­due.

If Congress and Trump do not act be­fore mid­night Dec. 21, a par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down will be­gin, po­ten­tially af­fect­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of fed­eral work­ers.

Trump wants $5 bil­lion for wall con­struc­tion, while Democrats want to spend at most $1.6 bil­lion, and they want it to go for bor­der se­cu­rity and fenc­ing as op­posed to a con­crete wall.

Thus far it’s not clear how the two sides might reach com­pro­mise. House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will meet with Trump on Tues­day to dis­cuss the is­sue.

Trump on Thurs­day urged Schumer and Pelosi to ap­prove money for the wall and bor­der se­cu­rity, writ­ing on Twit­ter that the coun­try faced “Big dan­ger” from a surge of im­mi­grants.

Pelosi and Schumer have both de­clared the wall a non­starter, but say they sup­port bor­der se­cu­rity. For Repub­li­cans who are about to lose con­trol of the House, this may be their last chance to get sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing for the wall, a sig­na­ture cam­paign prom­ise for Trump as well as many GOP law­mak­ers.

Some 70 per­cent of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment — in­clud­ing the Pen­tagon and the Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices — has al­ready been funded through next Septem­ber. But nu­mer­ous other agencies large and small still have not been funded for the 2019 fiscal year as Trump and Democrats squab­ble over the wall.

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