House leaves town with no sign of deal to avoid partial shutdown

With just over a week until funding runs out for part of the federal government, House GOP leaders said no votes would be scheduled until at least next Wednesday, with no indications of any active negotiations or solutions to the demand by President Donald Trump that he get $5 billion for his border wall in a year-end legislative spending package.

“Our schedule for next week remains fluid and subject to change,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). “Conversations are currently ongoing between the House, Senate, and the White House.”

But Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer gave no indications there was any movement, especially on the border wall funding.

“Right now, Chuck and I are not in a negotiation, we’re not going for the $5 billion for the wall – we simply are not,” Pelosi told reporters.

Despite some talk about holding a vote on the President’s plan, House Republicans gave no indication that they would bring the $5 billion border wall up for a vote on the floor, as many on Capitol Hill believe the GOP does not have the votes to get that through the House.

“They do not have the votes to pass the President’s proposal,” Pelosi said of the $5 billion wall plan.

If nothing happens by December 21, then a portion of the federal government would go into shutdown mode – agencies like NASA, the Justice Department, Homeland Security, Agriculture, EPA and more.

Most of the government funding for 2019 has already been approved, so a funding lapse would not impact the military, Congress, VA, energy and water programs, military construction, or health, education and labor programs.

If Republicans were able to get the House to approve the $5 billion border wall plan, then the President might have more leverage – but with questions as to whether it can gain a majority in either the House or Senate, Democrats seem ready to stand in opposition.

Earlier this week in an unusual public spat in the Oval Office, President Trump told Democratic leaders that he would happily take the blame for any funding lapse.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” the President said.

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