Congressional lawmakers are still working on a short-term spending agreement after the Senate failed to pass $5 billion in border wall funding Friday.
Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker told reporters on Capitol Hill on Friday before the vote that senators reached an “agreement” on how to proceed on a House-passed funding bill. The House’s bill grants $5.7 billion in border wall funding as President Donald Trump has threatened to veto any bill that does not adequately fund the wall.
“You’ll see shortly. It’s going to happen in the next 30 minutes … what the agreement is getting ready to be,” Corker told reporters after leaving a meeting in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. “It’s an agreement that — look, I haven’t voted yet, right? So, it’s an agreement as to how, if we were to get on the bill — what next will happen.”
The deal to proceed was apparently reached between McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after Schumer met with Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Corker added that the president is “aware of what is happening” and that senators would not vote on something that the president “has not agreed to.”
“The first discussion is not substance — it’s process,” he continued. “It’s the most likely process to lead to a conclusion that solves the dilemma we have around border funding right now.”
Corker clarified with reporters that the deal does not necessarily avoid a shutdown, but that people within the White House are “optimistic.”
The president has promised he is prepared for a “long shutdown” over the border security fight. Trump previously promised not to sign a Senate-passed continuing resolution because it did not contain his requested wall funding.
The government will shut down at midnight Friday if lawmakers cannot put a bill on the president’s desk that he is willing to sign.
UPDATE (6:32 pm Eastern):
The Senate was able to proceed on a vote on the House spending bill containing $5 billion for the wall, however the final vote on its passage failed 48 to 47. The government is now headed toward a shutdown.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn told reporters that the Senate is now looking at a potential deal with Democrats for a bill that contains $1.6 billion for the wall. The Senate has to get some Democrats to agree to a spending bill in order to reach the 60 vote threshold for a bill to pass.
However, House Freedom Caucus members seem unsatisfied with just $1.6 billion in funding for the border wall. Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said he expects “real money” for the wall, while Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows asserted that there is currently no “agreement.”
“Most conservatives would not be supportive of $1.6 [billion] for the border wall,” Meadows said.
This is a breaking story and will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.