GOP Senators Meeting with Trump over Shutdown Standoff, Border Wall


Senate Republicans will meet Friday morning with President Donald Trump to discuss legislation to keep the government from partially shutting down at midnight -- negotiations that will include talks on a border wall, according to White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

The Senate and president appear to be at a standoff over funding the wall: The Senate passed a bill earlier this week that would keep the government open through the holidays, but it did not include the $5 billion the president is seeking to fund the border barrier.

The House on Thursday passed a short-term continuing resolution, 217-185, that includes $5.7 billion for the wall -- a move that kicks the bill back over to the Senate for reconciliation. For the bill to pass, it would need 60 votes. Senate Democrats have stood firm on their version of the bill, which includes $1.6 billion for border security.

If the bill is not approved in the Senate, it would affect portions of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Treasury, State and Homeland Security, as well as several key agencies.

According to a source with knowledge of the government's furlough plans, the hardest hit agency would be the National Science Foundation, where 97 percent of personnel would be furloughed. At the National Air and Space Administration and Housing and Urban Development, 95 percent would be furloughed. Roughly 15 percent of the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the U.S. Coast Guard, would go on furlough.

During the last shutdown, Coast Guard personnel were told to report for duty without pay, but all employees later received pay as usual. The pending shutdown would not affect the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs because they have already received full funding for fiscal 2019.

The Senate convenes at noon Friday, providing a window of 12 hours for Congress to negotiate legislation intended to keep the government open through Feb. 8, 2019.

Should the shutdown happen, it would be the third this year. The federal government shut down Jan. 20-Jan. 22 in a dispute over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy, and it shut down Feb. 9 for nine hours, the result of a legislative funding gap. Federal employees were not affected by the February closure.

This story will be updated.

-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime.

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