WASHINGTON --- On Wednesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said a spending bill to keep the government open through Feb. 8 had been finalized overnight and would be introduced in the Senate within hours. Democrats also signaled they were on board with the deal, which would fund the government for six weeks, but provide no additional money for President Donald Trump's border wall.
The only person who had not yet weighed in on the deal was Trump himself. While congressional leaders were busy negotiating, the president was still sounding a defiant note. "One way or the other, we will win on the Wall!" he tweeted early Wednesday.
As the window for reaching a deal grew narrower this week, members of Congress anxiously waited for guidance from the White House on what kind of deal the president would accept.
But none came.
Instead, there was a barrage of tweets from Trump about the border wall he has long promised to build, and hints from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that the administration might try to fund the wall by siphoning funds away from other government agencies.
On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, the rough outlines of a short-term spending bill to keep the government open began to take shape on Tuesday evening. At the White House, Trump was attending two previously scheduled holiday receptions.
If Trump signs this continuing resolution before departing for his private club in Florida on Friday, as lawmakers in both parties hope he will, it would avert a partial government shutdown that would have hurt Republicans politically.
But it would also mark a stunning retreat from the president's negotiating position just a week ago, when he told Democratic congressional leaders in a contentious Oval Office meeting that he would be "proud to shut down the government for border security."