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The Latest: Schumer urges Trump to ignore House hard-liners

December 20, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on efforts to avoid a government shutdown (all times local):

1 p.m.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is urging President Donald Trump to ignore the advice of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which is encouraging Trump to veto a stopgap spending bill that averts a looming partial government shutdown.

Conservatives oppose the bill because it doesn’t include billions of dollars for Trump’s long-promised border wall with Mexico — a central plank of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Schumer says in a Senate speech that Freedom Caucus leaders have “no strategy at all” beyond shutting down the government.

And Schumer, in his own words, says a “Trump shutdown will not convince a single Democrat to support bilking the American taxpayer for an ineffective, unnecessary and exorbitantly expensive wall.”

Trump has promised Mexico will pay for the wall, a claim Mexico rejects.

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11:35 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is meeting with Republican House members at noon Thursday as the fate of legislation to avoid a government shutdown hangs in the balance.

At issue is the president’s demand for billions of dollars for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that “at this moment, the president does not want to go further” on a proposed budget deal “without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall.”

She says Trump is continuing to consider his options.

If there’s no deal, there could be a partial shutdown at the end of Friday.

Trump already has lashed out at GOP leaders in Congress over the lack of wall funding in a short-term spending bill that passed the Senate on Wednesday. Trump’s come under criticism from conservative supporters over the issue.

GOP leaders canceled a morning news conference as rank-and-file lawmakers indicated opposition to the stopgap spending measure.

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10:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is attacking Republican leaders in Congress, saying they haven’t kept promises that he would get money for his long-promised border wall by year’s end.

Trump says in a tweet that when he “begrudgingly” signed an earlier spending bill, he was “promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership. Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen!”

Congress is now trying to pass legislation that would avoid a partial government shutdown. While Trump has backed off a shutdown threat, he’s coming under pressure from conservative allies to veto a short-term deal.

Trump spoke with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday. One Republican says Ryan left a morning meeting of House Republicans to take a phone call from Trump. This Republican who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the call and discussed it on condition of anonymity didn’t know what was said.

—Associated Press writer Alan Fram.

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12:10 a.m.

The question of averting a partial shutdown of the federal government has moved from the Senate to the House.

Senators late Wednesday approved by voice vote a measure that keeps the government funded to Feb. 8. The House is expected to vote on the measure before the midnight Friday deadline.

The measure doesn’t include the money President Donald Trump has demanded for his proposed border wall with Mexico.

Trump still must sign a funding bill into law to avert a shutdown of some government agencies. While the White House has indicated that Trump is open to reviewing whatever Congress passes, the president hasn’t weighed in on the stopgap measure.

Many Trump supporters are frustrated that he appears to have retreated on his shutdown threats over wall funding.

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