House Speaker Paul Ryan, R. WI, emerged from a meeting with President Donald Trump and other members of Congress at the White House and told reporters that Trump does not intend to sign the current short-term funding bill without it having adequate border security measures.
“The president informed us that he will not sign the bill that came up from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns for border security,” Rep. Ryan told reporters on Thursday.
The U.S. Senate had passed a continuing resolution to keep the federal government fully funded and operational at its current levels until Feb. 8 on Wednesday evening, that does not include any additional funding for border security.
Without a spending bill being passed this week, about a quarter of the federal government will begin running out of money at midnight on Friday and be forced to shut down.
Prior to the Senate passing the bill on Wednesday, President Trump had requested $5 billion to be appropriated in the bill for construction of a border wall.
In a meeting with Democratic Party leadership at the White House, Trump told U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D. CA, and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D. NY, that he would be “proud to shut down the government” over border wall funding.
The White House backed away from that statement at the beginning of this week.
During negotiations for the spending bill this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R. KY, proposed a measure to appropriate $1.6 billion to go towards the construction of a border wall and an additional $1 billion for immigration. That proposal was rejected by Democrats.
Sen. McConnell then proposed the continuing resolution to keep the federal government open which was agreed to by Democrats.
“We don’t want to end this year the way we began it, with another government shutdown,” Sen. McConnell said on Wednesday.
The federal government shut down twice at the beginning of the year for Congress’ failure to pass a spending bill.
President Trump began suggesting on Twitter early Thursday morning that he would not support the short-term spending bill passed in the Senate, sparking an emergency meeting at the White House between Trump and senior Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The meeting included Rep. Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R. NC, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R. LA, Rep. Mark Meadows, R. NC, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R. OH. Meadows is the leader of the House Freedom Caucus.
Rep. Ryan and McCarthy emerged from the White House emergency meeting together to announce to a waiting press that President Trump was not planning on signing the continuing resolution in its current form.
They informed the press that they would return to Congress to speak to members of their party to rework the bill to keep the government open and provide border security appropriations.
“So what we are going to do is go back to the House and work with our members,” Rep. Ryan told reporters at the White House. “We want to keep the government open. But we also want to see an agreement that protects the border. We have very serious concerns about securing our border.”
“So we’re going to go back and work adding border security to this also keeping the government open because we want to see an agreement with that alternative,” Ryan added.