Budget

White House gives no guarantee on avoiding shutdown

Shutterstock image: the White House. 

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters he cannot guarantee that the administration will be able to avert a government shutdown when current funding expires on April 28.

"I can't guarantee, but the work that [Office of Management and Budget Director Mick] Mulvaney and others have made in these negotiations, has been very positive," Spicer said on April 24 as Congress returned to work from the Easter recess. "They feel very confident that that won't happen."

Mulvaney has said on multiple occasions that Democrats must be willing to compromise in these budget negotiations. President Donald Trump has demanded that Congress fund construction of a border wall with Mexico, and has floated the idea of linking that spending to money for Affordable Care Act subsidies.

In his briefing, Spicer didn't commit to any dealbreakers, when it comes to supplemental funding items.

"I don't want to get ahead of those negotiations. They are ongoing," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), however, insisted during an April 24 television segment that the border wall plan is not going to work.

"We were right on the path to get this up and done, a good thing that both parties could support, and he throws a monkey wrench in," Schumer said on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "We are just headed to failure."

Schumer said he last spoke to the president on April 20. 

Appropriation leaders from both houses of Congress and from both parties have been quiet about funding talks, indicating that work was happening behind the scenes. Nancy Pelosi alluded to this in an April 24 call with reporters.

"Our appropriators were well on a path to resolving their differences and finding their common ground, respecting each other's priorities, until the White House intervened," Pelosi said.

The last government shutdown occurred in 2013 and lasted 17 days. The current continuing resolution runs out at midnight on Friday, April 28.

About the Author

Aisha Chowdhry is a former staff writer for FCW.


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