Republicans remove Mexico border wall from budget negotiation

SPICER: I, I think we're going to make - we've made our priorities very clear, as we continue to negotiate, and I think nothing has changed on the president's priorities. "This is a fundamental job of government and we should do it and leave politics at the door".

With a deadline looming this week to avert a US government shutdown, Congress returns to work on Monday as President Donald Trump leans on Democrats to include funding for his promised border wall with Mexico in spending legislation.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who represents the southwestern border state of Arizona, speaking to reporters on Tuesday, said there is a need for a wall in some border locations and alternative deterrents in others.

Just how the president plans to exactly do that is another matter. If the spending bill does not pass, the government will be forced to halt all spending until spending legislation is approved.

The border wall money is fiercely opposed by Democrats, and also unpopular with many Republicans. But lawmakers, including many Republicans, signaled Tuesday that they are navigating around Trump's about-faces and are close to sealing a deal to keep the lights on.

"I think that's what people in New Mexico are looking for", he added during the NPR interview. There, he noted "two little known facts".

National parks, museums, and zoos would be closed. Congress has until Friday to approve a spending package to avoid a shutdown of the federal government. If lawmakers do not have one, funding for many federal agencies will abruptly stop and millions of government workers will be temporarily laid off.

"I support additional border security funding", said Sen.

Border-wall construction was a central tenet to then-candidate Trump's hardline anti-immigration platform, and the president tweeted Tuesday that he is still committed to fulfilling that pledge.

In comments to a group of conservative journalists, the U.S. president reportedly suggested the topic of wall funding could be postponed until September, correspondent for One America News Trey Yingst reported.

Trump has promised to build the wall since the first day of his presidential campaign.

"The wall is going to get built, by the way", Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., approved of Trump's apparent shift. While demands from the White House have complicated the negotiations, President Trump appears to have retreated on some key issues.

For the past several days, it seemed as if Trump would try to push the wall through anyway.

A senior administration confirmed to The Post that Trump is instead looking at securing border wall funding through the appropriations process later this year. The wall's cost estimates range past $20 billion.

But there are still obstacles to passing a spending bill by Friday, sources tell CNN. These include a prohibition against insurers charging higher premiums for seriously ill customers.

  • Leroy Wright