Fears about a partial government shutdown grew Thursday as President Donald Trump left the door open to vetoing a short-term spending bill expected to pass Congress.
The Senate has approved a bill to keep the government running through Feb. 8. But it was unclear Thursday morning whether the House would pass it — or if Trump would sign it — ahead of the midnight Friday deadline to keep the government running. Some GOP members pushed for changes to the legislation, such as Trump's desired $5 billion to fund his border wall or more disaster relief money.
The president met with House Republicans at noon Thursday as lawmakers scrambled to find a way forward, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. At least House Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip Steve Scalise and conservative stalwarts Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows were set to attend, according to NBC News.
Trump "does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall," Sanders said. Trump started to make "steel slats" synonymous with a "wall" Thursday morning, though he has previously promised his supporters to "build a wall" and make Mexico pay for it.
In a vague tweet Thursday morning, Trump expressed frustration with Congress. He said he was "promised the Wall and Border Security" when he "begrudgingly signed" an omnibus spending bill earlier this year.
"It didn't happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries - but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!" Trump wrote, while continuing not to divulge whether he would sign the spending measure. The president also threatened to veto the omnibus bill earlier this year before signing it.