The White House is taking steps to prepare for a potential government shutdown that has been looming over Washington for weeks.
Though the administration stressed that they believe a shutdown is unlikely, press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Friday that the administration is prepping government agencies in case a spending package is not passed.
“We remain confident that we are not going to have a shutdown,” Spicer said Friday. “It’s required. Our goal is to continue to do what’s necessary to fund our government. No one wants a shutdown.”
The House and Senate have been negotiating for weeks on a bill that would keep the government open past April 28, when most agencies run out of funding. The potential shutdown — which would happen on Donald Trump’s 100th day in office — will happen if they do not pass a spending package that will cover the last five months of the fiscal year. The Senate and the House have been on a two-week recess but return to Washington on Monday and Tuesday. (RELATED: Trump Unafraid Of Possible Government Shutdown)
Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate, but 60 will be needed for the legislation to pass.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has said defense spending, border wall funding, and immigration and law enforcement are all key priorities for the legislation, but Spicer said he doesn’t know that the wall is “a sticking point” for the proposed spending package.
“We have made very clear that funding for the border wall is a priority,” Spicer added.
When asked Thursday if he would prefer a vote on health care or a vote on a bill to keep the government open next week, Trump said he wanted to get both.
“Are you shocked to hear that?” Trump said. “And we’re doing very well on healthcare. We’ll see what happens. But this is a great bill. There’s a great plan. And this will be great healthcare. It’s evolving. You know, there was never a give-up. The press sort of reported there was like a give-up. There’s no give-up. We started. Remember, it took Obamacare 17 months. I’ve really been negotiating this for two months, maybe even less than that, because we had a 30-day period where we did lots of other things the first 30 days.”
“But this has really been two months. And this is a continuation. And the plan gets better and better and better. And it’s gotten really, really good. And a lot of people are liking it a lot. We have a good chance of getting it soon. I’d like to say next week, but it will be — I believe we will get it. And whether it’s next week or shortly thereafter. As far as keeping the government open, I think we want to keep the government open. Don’t you agree? So, yeah, I think we’ll get both. Thank you.”
Trump told reporters Friday he thinks “we’re in good shape” as far as keeping the government funded.