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Trump signs funding stopgap, setting holiday fight on wall

09 December 2018

The prospect of a partial government shutdown was raised by disagreements among lawmakers over Trump's proposed U.S. -Mexico border wall, for which he has demanded 5 billion U.S. dollars. Trump announced before leaving Washington that he planned to nominate William Barr, who was attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, to again lead the Justice Department. Mr Trump is expected to sign the measure.

But the disagreements are far from resolved. Seven government agencies have not yet obtained appropriations, but funding for the border wall remains the most contentious issue.

McConnell said at the annual Wall Street Journal CEO Council that a shutdown is not likely but Trump still needs to work out the details with Pelosi and Schumer.

But Democrats in the U.S. House, including Congressman Henry Cuellar, who represents parts of San Antonio and Laredo, urged House Leader Nancy Pelosi to refuse to fund the project.

"This is something Democrats have always been for: smart, effective, appropriate border security", he said on the Senate floor. "I could even do it cheaper if I have to", he said at a conference in Kansas City.

"Somebody'll have to blink", Mr Shelby said, adding: "I think the president's going to have to get something". He has sent some strong messages to most everybody. That gives Democrats considerable leverage over spending bills. Before the extension expires on December 21, the Republican-led Congress is expected to consider a $450 billion bill to fund government agencies through the fiscal year that ends next September 30.

They are also hashing out disputes on a handful of other fronts, including an attempt by Democrats to add language to the spending package to block the Commerce Department from adding a question to the 2020 census asking whether people are USA citizens.

The new Friday, December 21 deadline will force the government funding fight to the only deadline that appears to matter for members of Congress, the day to leave Washington to be with their families at Christmas.

Nevertheless, the impacts would be widespread.

The impact of a partial shutdown would depend on whether it stretched into the following work week. The federal government was briefly shut down twice this year due to lawmakers' discrepancy on immigration issues.

What about the federal budget deficit?

Trump said these cities are "grave threats to public safety and national security".

Trump signs funding stopgap, setting holiday fight on wall