The White House has reportedly told Republican lawmakers that it won’t shut down the government if the wall on the southern border is not funded in the upcoming short-term budget deal — a position seemingly at odds with the promise President Trump made last month to supporters in Arizona.
Congress is set to run out of money at the end of September, setting up a now not-uncommon scenario where the lawmakers must come up with a short-term deal or shut down the government.
At an August 22 rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Trump pushed a hard line on funding for the border wall, something which many congressional Republicans have adopted a luke-warm-at-best attitude toward.
“We are building a wall on the southern border, which is absolutely necessary,” he said. “The obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, believe me, [but] if we have to close down our government, we are building that wall.”
However, the Washington Post reported Friday that White House officials have “quietly” notified Congress that the $1.6 billion of funding would not need to be in the short-term “continuing resolution” to fund the government until December.
Officials reportedly said that does not change the fact the wall remains a top priority and that it must be funded in the subsequent December bill.
The Post notes this is the second time Trump has backed away from the threat to shut down the government over his popular campaign promise. After tweeting that the government needs a “good shut down,” he backed away from the threat in May when lawmakers funded the government through to September — that resolution also contained no funding for the wall.
Trump’s reported standdown comes just days after House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) indicated that the conservative group was willing to pass a CR even if funding for the wall was not included.
“In talking to a number of my members, if there was a vote for a continuing resolution next week that did not include border wall funding, the majority of those members would be supportive of that,” Meadows, R-N.C., told ABC News‘ Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein on the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast Tuesday.