An endorsement of sorts:
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said today that President Trump is inclined to sign the FY 19 Homeland Security conference agreement, as Roll Call reports:
“Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not resist the notion that Trump is leaning toward signing a package that would give him just under $1.4 billion for the barrier project even though it is far less than his $5.7 billion demand. She noted, as her boss said Tuesday, that he is not thrilled with the emerging legislation but also described him as ‘okay’ with the path ahead.
“‘But he’s okay because he’s going to get the job done, no matter what,’ Sanders told Fox News. ‘You can rest assured the president said he was going to build a wall, and he’s going to deliver.'”
Sanders, however, left open an escape hatch:
“We want to see what the final piece of legislation looks like. It’s hard to say definitively whether or not the president’s going to sign it until we know everything that’s in it,”
Politico Playbook is reporting that appropriation staff is having trouble pulling the final deal together:
“BORDER SECURITY DEAL UNRAVELING? … LATE LAST NIGHT, we started getting text messages that the border security deal was unraveling a bit as senior aides and lawmakers were drafting it.
“IT SEEMS AS IF the deal was announced a bit too early. They agreed on the big issues in principle, but as they put pen to paper, there were both critical issues and ancillary issues that were not yet solved.”
Difficulties are showing up in three areas:
“– DISAGREEMENTS ON BORDER LANGUAGE: As Republicans and Democrats work out the border barrier language, they’ve hit some snags on how to craft the language that gives PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP his $1.375 billion for the border wall. Republicans felt like Democrats might try to tie the president’s hands on who needs to give approval, where it is and how to build it.
“– FEDERAL CONTRACTOR BACK PAY: Congress has already passed legislation to make whole federal workers who were not paid during the last shutdown. There’s an effort afoot in negotiations between Republicans and Democrats to insert language to do the same for federal contractors. This is not a partisan issue. Several Republicans have been supportive of this effort. But there’s definite disagreement among Republicans and Democrats whether they can squeeze this in.
“– VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: VAWA was extended as part of the last government funding bill, and expires Friday. Republicans have pushed for a straight, clean extension as part of this bill. Democrats want to deal with VAWA separately — they have their own bill. But if it’s not extended before Friday, it will lapse.”
Even while appropriations staff was struggling to pull together the omnibus bill, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer predicted that the House could vote on the bill as early as tonight. Under that scenario, the Senate would vote on the legislation on Thursday.
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