Trump signs bill delaying government shutdown, setting up Christmastime showdown over border wall

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump signs a temporary spending bill into law, delaying a government shutdown deadline. 
  • The government will stay open through Dec. 21, setting up a Christmastime fight over the president's proposed border wall. 
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he speaks to the press as he walks to Marine One prior to departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2018. 
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump signed a bill to extend government funding for two weeks, putting off a potential government shutdown, the White House said Friday.

The legislation to keep the government open through Dec. 21 will delay a politically pitched fight over the president's proposed border wall. Funding for parts of the government was set to expire Friday. Both chambers of Congress passed the measure Thursday by voice vote.

Congress still needs to fund seven agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, which has become the biggest hurdle to a spending agreement. Trump seeks $5 billion for his proposed physical barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats, on the other hand, appear willing to give only up to $1.6 billion for border security measures such as fencing.

The president will meet with the Democratic congressional leaders, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on Tuesday to discuss funding. Pelosi said Thursday that she would not exchange wall funding for legal protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children — a major priority for the California Democrat.

Avoiding a shutdown could become even more complicated. Trump "indicated he supports" adding a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, along with wall funding, to the year-end spending bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted after speaking to the president Friday.

"I agree with him on both," the South Carolina Republican wrote.

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