- The Washington Times - Friday, April 21, 2017

President Trump expressed confidence Friday that budget negotiations would succeed in avoiding a government shutdown.

“I think we’re in good shape,” Mr. Trump said during a brief press appearance before reporters in the Oval Office.

Congress has one week to reach a deal and pass a spending bill before current funding expires next Friday. Several major sticking points remain, including payments for Obamacare that Democrats are trying to force into the spending package.

At the same time, the Trump administration has insisted on including money to pay for a wall on the southern border. That’s another “poison pill” for Democrats that could derail a spending bill to keep the government open for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer also expressed confidence that there wouldn’t be a shutdown, although the Office of Management and Budget had begun giving guidance Friday to federal departments and agencies about plans for a shutdown.

Mr. Spicer said the guidance was “required” and part of “routine steps to prepare in the unlikely case that there’s a lapse in appropriations next week.”

“We remain confident that we’re not going to have a shutdown,” Mr. Spicer said. “No one wants a shutdown. We want to keep it going We feel confident that will happen, that we’ll avoid a shutdown. We’re committed to not having a shutdown.”

Asked if the president’s request for funding for a border wall with Mexico was risking a shutdown, Mr. Spicer replied, “I don’t know if I’d say sticking point. I’d say it’s a priority. We feel good about the direction of those conversations.”



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