Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, walks to the floor of the Senate from his office after a GOP meeting on healthcare at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

McConnell Sees Path to Avoid Shutdown After Meeting With Trump

(Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after meeting with President Donald Trump Thursday that he expects to reach an agreement to avoid a partial government shutdown next month and address the president’s demands for funds for a border wall.

“We talked about border security and how to resolve all this, and we’re optimistic we have a way forward," McConnell of Kentucky said after he and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama met with the president.

Asked what the way forward is, McConnell said, “I’ll tell you when we get it.” He declined to respond to questions about whether Trump would accept fencing as a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Funding is set to end Dec. 7 for some federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the National Park Service. Congress already passed full-year funding for many other federal agencies, meaning they would remain open.

“We had a good discussion about funding the government and the other year-end items and were optimistic we’re going to be able to get that done, get the farm bill done," the majority leader said.

Shelby said Trump was in a good mood and "didn’t threaten anything." The senator added, "We’re not going to shut down the government.“

The main obstacle "is the wall funding and how we do it,” Shelby said. He said he offered a proposed compromise to solve the border wall issue but he couldn’t discuss the details yet.

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