Mulvaney says no shutdown, even with border ask

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says he believes the Trump administration and Republican leaders in Congress will be able to avert a government shutdown, even as the administration says it will insist on money to build a wall on the Mexico border.

“I do not think the government is going to shut down,” Mulvaney told reporters Friday, ahead of the deadline next week when federal agencies will run out of money.

The OMB director acknowledged there are still disagreements that remain between the administration, GOP leaders as well as Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill that will make it difficult for all parties to agree to a continuing resolution to keep the government running. One sticking point remains President Donald Trump’s quest for funding to construct a wall on the southern US border, Mulvaney acknowledged.

“We have our list of priorities,” Mulvaney said Thursday at an event hosted by the Institute of International Finance, according to The Washington Post. “We want more money for defense. We want to build a border wall. We want more money for immigration enforcement, law enforcement.”

The Trump administration has already asked Congress for money to begin construction of the wall along the southwest border to make good on a central campaign promise. But Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and other top Democrats oppose the wall and say adding any money to this bill is a non-starter. Republicans have pushed for some additional funding for immigration enforcement although Schumer said that shouldn’t be included, either.

In addition to the prospect of a government shutdown, the White House is pressing Republican lawmakers to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare before Trump reaches 100 days in office next weekend.

As part of the renewed effort to pass a bill through both houses of Congress, Senate budget committee staffers have begun working on language for a repeal and replace package that would satisfy Senate rules, a senior administration official told reporters.

With the President approaching 100 days in office, a senior administration official conceded there have been “colorful” discussions behind the scenes to sort out disagreements over Trump’s agenda. But the official said the President has insisted that aides treat each other in a civil fashion, even as they clash over policy.

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