After a lot of speculation as to whether the government would shut down over the Democrats' reticence to fund a border wall, the Trump administration confirmed that the president was willing to sign a budget bill without fulfilling that campaign promise.
Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, confirmed it to Jake Tapper on CNN Tuesday.
"A source close to efforts to avoid the government shutdown tells CNN that the Republican proposal in the House will not include funding for President Trump's border wall with Mexico," Tapper inquired. "Is President Trump willing to sign a government spending bill that does not include that money?"
"Yeah, [because] I think the bill, at least the offer that we received from the Democrats in the last couple of days," Mulvaney answered, "included a good bit of money for border security. The Democrats said they'd go to the mat to shut the government down over the border wall, the bricks and mortar. But there's a lot of things we agree on, both parties do, on securing the border and it allows the president to follow through on his promise to make that border more secure, stop people coming over, stop drugs coming over."
"So there's things we can do by way of maintenance and technology," he explained, "gates, bridges, roads, that kind of stuff that make a real difference in that southern border security."
"But the president says he's not backing down on the wall," Tapper objected.
"We're not backing down," Mulvaney responded. "Keep in mind this is just, this bill is just for the last five months of this year. We're actually, almost more than halfway through fiscal year '17, we're only talking about through the end of September. The discussion for what to do with fiscal year '18, which starts October 1st, the discussion actually starts as soon as this bill is signed so we're going to continue these conversations.
"We just thought it would be a good first step to get these things that everybody agrees on and take the idea of a government shutdown off the table."
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) April 26, 2017
Trump promised many times in the presidential campaign that he would construct a border wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. But as the budget deadline gets closer, the Democrats have threatened to shut the government down rather than include the $1 billion requested by the Trump administration to begin construction.
Trump and the Republicans had offered to fund Obamacare subsidies in exchange for the same amount of funding for the border wall, but they declined with a mocking joke about having Mexico pay for it.