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McConnell, Schumer Urge Trump to Sign Spending Deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speak in Washington, D.C., October 25, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/REUTERS)

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday urged President Trump to sign the tentative spending deal Congress reached Monday night.

“I have recommended that if it becomes what we think it is, I do recommend [Trump] sign it,” McConnell told reporters. “I think he’s got a pretty good deal here. . . . I hope he’ll find this agreement acceptable and he’ll sign the bill.”

Schumer, meanwhile, said Trump would be to blame if another government shutdown occurred, and urged the president to back the deal to prevent one.

“Sign it and don’t cause a shutdown,” the New York Democrat said.

Congress has until Friday, when funding runs out for about a quarter of the government, to craft a spending package Trump will sign. Lawmakers reached a tentative deal Monday that included $1.375 billion for the construction of barriers on the southern border, not the $5.7 billion the president requested for a concrete wall. Republicans and Democrats hope to avoid repeating the partial shutdown that began in late December and dragged on for a record 35 days.

Trump has hinted he may not sign the current deal, telling reporters on Tuesday, “I’m not happy about it. It’s not doing the trick.”

“I’m adding things to it, and when you add whatever I have to add, it’s all going to happen where we’re going to build a beautiful, big, strong wall,” he added.

Some Republican members of Congress expressed even more displeasure and called on the president to take executive action to build the wall.

“This conference agreement is hardly a serious attempt to secure our border or stop the flow of illegal immigration,” Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows wrote in a Monday night tweet. “It kicks the can down the road yet again, failing to address the critical priorities outlined by Border Patrol Chiefs. Congress is not doing its job.”

Trump has floated moving federal funds around and using his executive power, including possibly declaring a national emergency, to build hundreds of miles of border wall.

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