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White House Demands Risk Government Shutdown

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Lawmakers were said to be making progress on a spending bill to prevent a government shutdown next week, but the White House has purportedly thrown a wrench into negotiations with a series of demands.

The White House demands unveiled this week include providing funding for President Donald Trump's controversial border wall.

At an event hosted by the Institute of International Finance on Thursday, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney indicated Trump wants money for the wall as well as more money for defense and immigration enforcement.

Mulvaney said the White House is willing to negotiate with Congressional Democrats and suggested Trump would pay for insurance subsidies for low-income Americans under Obamacare in exchange.

"I will be curious to see how they respond," Mulvaney said. "If they tell us to pound sand, I think that's probably a disappointing indicator of where the next four years is going to go."

He added, "If they tell us, however, that they recognize that President Trump won an election, he should get some of his priorities funded for that reason."

The remarks from Mulvaney come as lawmakers must pass a spending bill by next Friday to avoid another government shutdown.

In a recent interview with the USA Today Network, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said congressional leaders were making great progress on avoiding a shutdown but warned of interference by the president.

Schumer spokesman Matt House subsequently lashed out at the White House demand for the bill to include funding for a border wall.

"Everything had been moving smoothly until the administration moved in with a heavy hand," House said. "Not only are Democrats opposed to the wall, there is significant Republican opposition as well."

Late last month, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., expressed confidence there will not be another government shutdown and indicated the spending bill would not include some controversial provisions.

Ryan said the bill would not include funding for Trump's promised wall along the border with Mexico, claiming money for the wall would instead be included in next fiscal year's appropriations.

by RTT Staff Writer

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