202

The Latest: Shutdown threat recedes as Trump softens stance

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., left, and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, right, arrives to speak to reporters about the possibility of a partial government shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. Congress and President Donald Trump continue to bicker over his demand that lawmakers fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, pushing the government to the brink of a partial shutdown at midnight Friday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on negotiations over funding President Donald Trump wants for a U.S.-Mexico border wall and the possibility of a partial government shutdown (all times local):

9:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump and leaders in Congress appear to be pulling back from a government shutdown over his $5 billion request for border wall funds.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicates that Trump doesn’t want to shut down the government, though just last week he said he’d be “proud” to over the issue of border security.

One option circulating on Capitol Hill would be to approve government funding at existing levels and kick the issue into the next Congress.

It was a turnaround after days of impasse. Without a resolution, more than 800,000 government workers could be furloughed or sent to work without pay beginning at midnight Friday, disrupting government operations days before Christmas.

___

3:15 p.m.

Senate Democrats say President Donald Trump isn’t paying for his border wall from other parts of the government’s budget because doing so would require approval from Congress.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer rejected White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ suggestion Tuesday that there are ways to pay for the wall using federal money allocated to other things. Schumer said to do so, “They’d need congressional approval, and they’re not getting it for the wall.”

The statement was the latest volley in the standoff over passing a funding bill.

Trump, who vowed to make Mexico pay for the wall along the border, is insisting that any budget plan include U.S. funding. Democrats are refusing. If the standoff is not resolved, parts of the government will shut down at midnight Friday.

___

3 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s confident that there will not be a partial government shutdown, but discussions are continuing.

President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers are in a standoff over funding the government, and the main sticking point is Trump’s demand for $5 billion in taxpayer dollars for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. McConnell proposed $1.6 billion for border security plus another $1 billion in flexible funding. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer rejected the proposal, saying Democrats would not accept a billion-dollar “slush fund.”

McConnell says he’s “in consultation” with the White House about the path forward. He added that the administration is “extremely flexible on this issue.”

Asked if he’s confident that the government will not shut down, McConnell said, “Yeah, I am.”

___

2:40 p.m.

The White House says it’s waiting to see what the Senate can pass to prevent a partial government shutdown.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Senate has “thrown out a number of ideas.” She said that when something passes, the White House will evaluate it.

Sanders says: “We want to know what can pass.”

Sanders says President Donald Trump has asked every Cabinet secretary to look for funding that could be used for border security. Congressional leaders have been negotiating since the White House indicated earlier in the day that Trump does not want a federal government shutdown over his demand for $5 billion for the border wall with Mexico.

___

2:10 p.m.

Democratic leaders are spurning a proposal by the top Senate Republican to avert a partial government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall with Mexico.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed $1.6 billion for border security, as outlined in a bipartisan Senate bill, plus another $1 billion Trump could use on the border, according to a Democratic aide unauthorized to speak publicly about the private meeting.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called McConnell Tuesday and rejected the proposal, saying Democrats would not accept a billion-dollar “slush fund.”

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also snubbed the proposal: “Right now what they’ve offered we have not accepted.”

The White said Tuesday that Trump might accept the Senate bill if other money was also available.

—Lisa Mascaro

___

12:55 p.m.

Senate leaders are negotiating to avert a federal shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion for the border wall with Mexico.

In talks Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed $1.6 billion for border security, as outlined in a bipartisan Senate bill, plus an additional $1 billion that Trump could use on the border, according to a senior Democratic aide unauthorized to speak publicly about the private meeting.

Democrats are likely to reject that, the aide said, and characterized the additional money as a “slush fund.”

Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have proposed $1.3 billion. That money would not be for a wall, but for border fencing.

Earlier Tuesday, the White House indicated Trump may be willing to accept the Senate bill, if other money was also available.

—Lisa Mascaro

___

11 a.m.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the White House is willing to work with Congress to avert a partial government shutdown.

President Donald Trump has been demanding $5 billion to fund his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, but Democrats have balked at giving him any more than $1.6 billion for border security. A shutdown could happen at midnight Friday.

Sanders said on Fox News on Tuesday there are “other ways that we can get to that $5 billion,” including one bill she says would provide $26 billion in border security, including $1.6 billion for the wall.

She says, “That’s something that we would be able to support” as long as it’s coupled with other funding, such as using defense money on border security.

She adds that, “At the end of the day, we don’t want to shut down the government. We want to shut down the border from illegal immigration.”

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.