In this Dec. 11, 2018 photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a meets with Democratic leaders the Oval Office in Washington. Trump said last week he would be "proud" to have a shutdown to get Congress to approve a $5 billion down payment to fulfill his campaign promise to build a border wall. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Latest: Senate leaders negotiating to avert shutdown

December 18, 2018 - 12:02 pm

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):

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."


12:30 a.m.

Few if any signs of progress are emerging as President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers continue their standoff over funding the government and avoiding a partial shutdown at midnight Friday.

The main sticking point is Trump's demand for $5 billion to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Even a partial shutdown would leave hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or working without pay over the holiday season. Costs would likely be in the billions of dollars.

Trump doesn't have the votes from the Republican-led Congress to support his demand for border wall construction. Democrats are offering to continue funding at current levels, $1.3 billion, not for the wall but for fencing and other border security.

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