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Trump Blasts GOP Spending Plan         09/21 05:50

   Raising the specter of a government shutdown in just 10 days, President 
Donald Trump complained Thursday that a spending plan pushed by congressional 
Republicans is "ridiculous" because it does not include funding for a border 
wall with Mexico.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Raising the specter of a government shutdown in just 10 
days, President Donald Trump complained Thursday that a spending plan pushed by 
congressional Republicans is "ridiculous" because it does not include funding 
for a border wall with Mexico.

   Trump tweeted that he wants to know "where is the money for Border Security 
and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill." He added that "REPUBLICANS MUST 
FINALLY GET TOUGH" against Democrats he said are obstructing law enforcement 
and border security.

   Trump's outburst could complicate efforts by GOP leaders to avert a partial 
government shutdown at the end of September and put off a potentially messy 
fight over border funding until after the midterm elections in November.

   The Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that funds the military and some 
civilian agencies for the next year and provides a short-term fix to keep the 
government open through Dec. 7.

   The stopgap bill would not address Trump's long-promised wall along the 
U.S.-Mexico border, although separate spending bills being considered in the 
House and Senate provide funding for the wall. GOP leaders have said they 
prefer to resolve the issue after the Nov. 6 elections.

   Trump cited an opinion column by Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., blaming Democrats 
for the failure to fund the wall.

   While Congress has made progress on spending bills, GOP leaders decided to 
roll their unfinished work into a package tied to defense funding and "call it 
a day until December," Perdue said.

   "This a total sleight of hand. It is caving to Senate Democrats who are 
doing everything they can to derail President Trump's agenda, including funding 
for border security and the wall," Perdue wrote in the Washington Examiner.

   Perdue was one of seven senators who opposed the stopgap bill approved by 
the Senate. The House is expected to approve the bill next week, days ahead of 
a Sept. 30 deadline for a government shutdown.

   A Republican congressional aide, who was not authorized to speak publicly 
and asked not to be identified, dismissed Trump's tweet as "just 
saber-rattling" and said it would not derail efforts to avert a government 
shutdown at the start of the new budget year Oct. 1.

   "We believe we are still on track with respect to the president signing both 
appropriations conference reports" that fund a range of agencies and keep the 
government open through Dec. 7, the aide said.

   While Trump vented on Twitter, he privately assured aides Thursday that he 
would sign the spending bill, said an administration official who was not 
authorized to speak publicly and sought anonymity.

   Indeed, despite Trump's frustration, his tweet hints he will eventually sign 
the stopgap bill by asking where money for the wall will come from "after the 
Midterms?"

   A bill being considered in the Senate allocates $1.6 billion for Trump's 
wall next year, far short of the $5 billion that Trump is seeking. A bill 
approved by a House committee includes $5 billion for physical barriers and 
associated technology along the U.S. southern border.


(KA)

 
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