April 26, 2017 — Congressional and White House negotiators made progress Tuesday on a must-pass spending bill to keep the federal government open days ahead of a deadline as President Donald Trump indicated that U.S. funding for a border wall with Mexico could wait until September.
“We’re moving forward on reaching an agreement on a bipartisan basis,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said, adding that he hoped that an agreement to fund the government through September can be reached in the next few days.
But a big stumbling block remains, involving a Democratic demand for money for insurance companies that help low-income people afford health policies under former President Barack Obama’s health law, or that Trump abandon a threat to use the payments as a bargaining chip. Trump’s apparent flexibility on the U.S.-Mexico wall issue, however, seemed to steer the Capitol Hill talks on the catchall spending measure in a positive direction.
Arriving in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, California 2nd District Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) said he will not be leveraged into supporting “bad policies” such as funding for a border wall, increased military spending and cuts to Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies.
“I am not going to vote for a government funding bill that includes overreaching poison pill provisions,” Huffman told the Times-Standard. “If we have a clean government funding bill, I will support it. But I am not going to be bullied into supporting bad policies in a sort of hijacking exercise with government funding.”