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White House vows veto on Democrats’ bill to end government shutdown without wall money

January 4, 2019

The White House issued a veto threat Thursday on Democrats’ new bill to end the government shutdown, saying it shortchanged “the nation’s urgent border security needs.”

The White House also complained that the package of bills, which Democrats plan to force to the floor for votes later Thursday, the first night of the new Congress, includes billions of dollars in wasteful spending President Trump opposes.

That includes $12 billion in new money for foreign aid, $2 billion in funding Mr. Trump doesn’t want to see in the Environmental Protection Agency and $7.1 billion he says isn’t needed in the Housing and Urban Development Department.

“These and other excessive spending items makes the lack of adequate border funding in the combined package all the more unacceptable,” the White House budget office said in a Statement of Administration Policy.

Mr. Trump says he won’t accept any bill that doesn’t include new money for border wall construction though he’s signaled he may be willing to come down from his $5 billion request.

House Democrats, led by new Speaker Nancy Pelosi, say they won’t allow any money.

“The fact is a wall is an immorality. It is not who we are as a nation,” she said, insisting her chamber won’t approve any money.

She later said, in response to a question, that she would approve $1 in exchange for full government funding, but declined to answer follow-up questions about what number becomes immoral.

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