The White House is open to a short-term three-week funding bill that would include a down payment of some kind on a border wall as a way to end the partial government shutdown, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a Thursday evening statement.
“Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Chuck Schumer are meeting now to see whether or not they can work out of the deadlock. As was made clear to Senator Lindsay Graham, the 3 week CR would only work if there is a large down payment on the wall,” Sanders said.
President Donald Trump also told reporters Thursday evening that he would support anything “reasonable” that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer could come up with. Trump noted that “one of the ideas suggested is they open, they pay some sort of pro-rated down payment on the wall which you need.”
Sanders’ statement comes after Graham seeks to broker a compromise deal that would include some wall funding. Graham raised the subject with Trump in a phone call, after a White House-backed bill to end the partial government shutdown failed in the Senate on a margin of 50-47. The bill failed alongside legislation backed by Democrats that would provide no funding for the wall.
Two sources close to the president told The Daily Caller that he was chagrined that two Republican senators voted against his bill, but generally impressed by the level of unity displayed. The president told conservative leaders Wednesday evening that he sought their assistance in uniting the right against his plan to keep the government shutdown, until he could draw meaningful concessions. (RELATED: Trump Holds Fast On Shutdown As Advisers Warn Of Consequences)
The White House bill was the latest effort to end the partial government shutdown by offering Democrats the chance to extend the DACA program for an additional three years and the temporary protected status program. In exchange, the White House maintains its ask for $5.7 billion in funding, an increase in humanitarian aid and changes to the U.S. asylum law.