The White House is signaling Congress that the President is willing to agree to a budget deal to fund the government, even if it excludes funding for a border wall.
Appearing on CNN’s the Lead with Jake Tapper, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the host that the President was more than willing to sign a spending bill that excluded funding for the border wall because the Democrats had signaled that they were willing to spend more on other border security measures.
Mulvaney also explained that getting a budget that makes everyone happy passed the House and the Senate is near-impossible, which is why compromise is so important. Also, while Trump is willing to sign a budget without funds for a border wall… that doesn’t mean he’s letting the border wall go.
Mick Mulvaney: Yes. The problem is the Senate rules, people forget this sometimes, that the spending bills are different than the budget. The underlying budgets sort of move through the House and Senate differently. Anything that passes on reconciliation moves differently. But most bills, including spending bills, take 60 votes in the Senate.
Jake Tapper: So you need eight Democrats.
Mick Mulvaney: Got to have eight, which means that Chuck Schumer and the Democrats have a place at the table. We recognize that. But that’s why we just can’t do it on our own.
Jake Tapper: A source close to efforts to avoid a government shutdown tells CNN that the Republican proposal in the House will not include funding for President Trump’s border wall with Mexico. Is President Trump willing to sign a government spending bill that does not include that money?
Mick Mulvaney: Yes, because I think the bill — at least the offer that we received from the Democrats the last couple of days included a good bit of money for border security. The Democrats said they would go to the mat and shut the government down over the border wall, the bricks and mortar. But there’s a lot of things we agree on, both parties do, in securing the border. And it allows the president to follow through on his promise to make the border more secure. Stop people coming over, stop drugs from coming over.
So there’s things we can do by way of maintenance and technology, gates, bridges, roads, that kind of stuff, that make a real difference in that southern border security. So…
Jake Tapper: But the president says he’s not backing down on the wall.
Mick Mulvaney: Well, we’re not backing down. Keep in mind, this is just — this bill is just for the last five months of this year. We’re actually almost more than halfway through fiscal year ’17. We’re only talking about through the end of September. The discussion for what to do in fiscal year ’18, which starts October 1st, that discussion actually starts as soon as this bill is signed. So we’re going to continue these conversations.
We just thought that it would be a good first step to get these things that everybody agrees on and take that idea of a government shutdown off the table.