Showing his willingness to be flexible on the issue, President Trump backed down on his demands to include funding for the border wall in the current spending bill which is on the table.
If the bill doesn’t pass, the government could face a shutdown at the end of the week.
In a press conference on Monday, Trump said the issue of funding the wall could be revisited in September, paving a way for a bipartisan deal days ahead of the government shutdown deadline.
White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters on Monday, “Building that wall and having it funded remains an important priority to him, but we also know that that can happen later this year and into next year.”
Then on Tuesday, Trump echoed those sentiments on Twitter, stating, “Don’t let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.”
If Congress fails to pass the $1 trillion spending bill by midnight Friday, a partial government shutdown will occur.
In a rare moment of good will towards the president, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., commented, “It’s good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations. Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that Trump’s announcement was “welcomed news, given the bipartisan opposition to the wall.”
The White House had requested that $1.4 billion be included in the spending bill as a down payment on the wall, so construction could start immediately.
“I’m optimistic. I don’t think anybody wants a shutdown,” stated Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., noting, “The White House and, basically, the minority leaders of the House and Senate have to have some level of agreement on the things that you’re adding.”
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Trump Tweet: border wall