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White House signals it will back down on demand that spending bill include funding for border wall

Press secretary Sarah Sanders indicates that the White House may use other methods to fund the wall

HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images

The White House has said that President Donald Trump will likely sign a spending bill that does not contain funding for his signature border wall.

Here's what we know

During an interview on Fox News, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, "At the end of the day, we don't want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border."

She also hinted that the White House could fund the wall through means other than Congress.

"There are certainly a number of different funding sources that we've identified that we can use, that we can couple with money that would be given through congressional appropriations that would help us get to that $5 billion that the president needs in order to protect our border," Sanders said.

It is not clear what other funding sources Sanders is referring to.

What's the background?

On Nov. 28, Trump had told Politico that he would be willing to shut down the government if Congress did not give him the $5 billion he needed to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. At the time, he insisted that he was "firm" on this point.

As recently as Dec. 11, Trump said that he was committed to shut down the government over the wall.

"If we don't get what we want one way or the other ... I will shut down the government," he said during a meeting at the White House with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "I am proud to shut down the government for border security."

Schumer told reporters in November that Democrats could be convinced to approve $1.6 billion for the wall, but not the full $5 billion that the Trump administration wanted.

A deal to fund the government needs to be reached by Friday to avoid a partial government shutdown.

One last thing…
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