Shutdown threat recedes as Trump softens stance on wall


But Sanders on Tuesday said the administration has "other ways that we can get to that $US5 billion", marking a dramatic reversal in tone from the White House on the matter.

"President Trump has asked every one of his cabinet secretaries to look for funding that can be used to protect our borders and give the president the ability to fulfill his constitutional obligations to protect the American people by having a secure border", she said.

Should a shutdown occur, it would be relatively limited, as Congress has already funded most government operations through September 2019.

The White House is seemingly backing down on its border-wall demands as the government is on the brink of a partial shutdown. It would also mean the next round of negotiations would probably happen with the House under Democratic control. "We need border security".

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"I'm discussing with the White House where we go next, and once I get an answer to that I'll talk with Sen. We want to shut down the border from illegal immigration, from drugs coming into this country", Sanders added.

The two sides must come to some sort of budget deal by Friday or around a quarter of the government will shut down (CNBC reports that the affected agencies are "Homeland Security, [and] the departments of Transportation, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development and Justice").

Congressional Republicans promised Trump several months ago that if he would delay a fight over the border wall until after the midterm elections, they would help him obtain the money in December.

The stalemate continues. A United States government shutdown could be just days away if some sort of compromise isn't reached. "That's something that we would be able to support as long as we can couple that with other funding resources to get to the $5 billion". "It is shocking that Republicans haven't engaged yet in this process, considering they control the presidency, the House and the Senate", Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday.

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Another would be for Mr Trump to settle for the roughly US$1.4 billion that's now allocated for border fencing, which may be unlikely if Mr Trump sees the spending bill as his last chance to get his way before Democrats take over the House of Representatives in January. Emerging from Schumer's office, Pelosi described the offer as "unacceptable".

Democrats had offered to maintain the current funding of $1.3 billion, which would cover fencing and improvements along the border, but would not support a wall. Trump, who heads to Mar-a-Lago for his family's Christmas vacation starting Friday - when the government should partially shut down - was keeping his options open.

Pelosi said the path forward remained unclear, and that a stopgap "continuing resolution", or CR, might be required. "They don't seem to understand just how firmly we will reject this wall".

House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schemer: "I am proud to shut down the government for border security".

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