President Donald Trump will not sign a short-term spending bill passed by the Senate designed to prevent a government shutdown, the White House said following the president’s Thursday afternoon meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans.
“President Trump just met with Republican Members of the House. Not surprisingly, they all feel strongly about border security — stopping the flow of drugs, stopping human trafficking, and stopping terrorism," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation. We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall.”
On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously approved legislation to keep the government funded through Feb. 8, but didn’t include the $5 billion Trump requested to build a wall along the border of the U.S. and Mexico.
Trump’s comments about border security have shifted wildly in recent days, creating confusion on Capitol Hill as the government gets closer to a potential shutdown. At one point, the president said the military would fund and build the wall. He also demanded that Democrats agree to fund construction of the border wall next year.
The government will shut down if a spending bill isn’t passed by midnight Friday.
Here are the latest updates:
U.S. stocks plummeted Thursday afternoon after news broke that Trump would not sign a compromise that would keep the government funded through February.
“It’s a bloodbath,” CNN’s Cristina Alesci reported from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan, after stocks were down as much as 450 points.
As of 2:45 p.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rebounded a bit, but were still down around 300 points.
A government shutdown does not mean everything locally would grind to a halt. But it does mean employees of the federal government in the Philadelphia area might start losing pay. During the 16-day government shutdown back in 2013, nearly 50,000 federal employees in the Philadelphia and Camden metropolitan areas were furloughed without pay.
Here’s how my colleague Joseph Gambardello summed it up during the brief government shutdown that occurred in January:
The most visible impact in the Philadelphia area will be at national parks, including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, which will be closed. Valley Forge National Park will be open to the public, but all park buildings and restrooms are closed and there will be no educational programs. The Independence Visitors Center is not a federal facility and will be open, though the National Park desk will not be staffed.
If government funding expires Friday, nine federal agencies will close, according to the New York Times: the departments of the Treasury, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Commerce, and Justice
Essential operations, such as the FBI, airport security and customs, the military, government-run hospitals, and Weather Service forecasters would continue to function. But employees would be forced to work without pay, the Times reports, citing data from Senate Democrats.
Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd was among the politicians who slammed Trump for his refusal to sign the bipartisan compromise.
“Where things stand is that the American people actually sent us up to Washington, D.C., to get things done, not burn the place down, so we should be able to fund the government,” Hurd said on MSNBC Thursday afternoon.
Hurd, a former CIA agent, also criticized the idea of Trump’s border wall, calling it a “fallacy” that a physical structure built along the border would automatically equate to greater security.
“Building a wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” Hurd said.
After meeting with Trump at the White House, Ryan said the president’s unwillingness to sign the Senate’s short-term spending bill was due to “legitimate concerns for border security."
“We want to keep the government open, but we also want to see an agreement that protects the border,” Ryan told reporters. “We have very serious concerns about securing our border.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats “are not budging on the wall” during a speech on the Senate floor Thursday. Schumer also shared a montage of video clips of Trump repeating during the campaign that Mexico would pay for his border wall.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump would not commit to signing any legislation meant to avoid a government shutdown unless it addressed his desire for greater security along the U.S.-Mexico border.