White House Suggests Trump May Not Force Government Shutdown Over Border Wall

on October 30, 2018 in Sterling, Virginia.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

President Trump may not force a partial government shutdown if he doesn’t get his demanded $5 billion for border wall funding after all, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders seemed to suggest Tuesday morning.

“We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion,” she said on Fox News. “At the end of the day we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border.”

That suggests a softening position after Trump publicly insisted last week that he wouldn’t accept any deal to avoid a partial government shutdown without major funding to build his long-sought wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump’s public pledge to back a partial shutdown and accept responsibility for it backed congressional Republicans into a corner, as Democrats have been steadfast in their refusal to accept border wall funding in a bipartisan deal to keep the government fully funded. More than a quarter of the government will run out of funding as of this Friday, and Republicans in both chambers have publicly said it’s up to Trump and Senate Democrats to negotiate a deal.

Sanders’ comments are a sign that the White House may fold in its demands, as it’s clear Democrats are holding firm and a shutdown is the only other option if they don’t cave.

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