No U.S. Government Shutdown Before Year's End, McConnell Says

(Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated that he wants to avoid a partial government shutdown in December, as lawmakers work to complete annual spending bills amid President Donald Trump’s demand to fund a wall at the southern border.

“No, we’re not going to do that,” McConnell of Kentucky told reporters Wednesday when asked about the possibility of a shutdown. 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.

Trump sent mixed messages about the wall last week, telling reporters he wouldn’t “necessarily” insist on wall funding in exchange for signing the spending bills -- before adding that he “will be fighting for it.”

Senate Democrats and Republicans propose giving Trump $1.6 billion in border security funding. House Republicans and the White House are seeking $5 billion, down from earlier demands of $23 billion. Resolving the dispute is the top issue before Congress in a lame duck session that ends next month.

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