- The Washington Times - Friday, December 21, 2018

President Trump is set to meet Friday with Senate Republicans ahead of a vote that could partially shut down the government over border security funding, the White House said.

“President Trump will meet with Senate Republicans this morning at 10:30 to discuss the Funding Bill and the importance of Border Security,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Missing from the meeting are Senate Democrats who have vowed to oppose additional spending on border security.

Mr. Trump has urged Senate Republicans to hang tough in the shutdown showdown over $5 billion in border security spending.

Earlier, he urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use the so-called “nuclear option” to prevent filibusters that Democrats can use to block the spending bill.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer insisted a shutdown would be blamed on Mr. Trump.

“You own the shutdown—your own words, @realDonaldTrump,” the New York Democrat tweeted. “The Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed a bipartisan solution to avoid a shutdown. Then you threw another temper tantrum and convinced the House to ignore that compromise. #TrumpShutdown.”

The House on Thursday night passed a spending bill that included the $5 billion that the president demanded, setting up the Senate showdown before a midnight deadline to keep funding dozens of agencies and departments.

The Senate approved a spending bill Wednesday that did not include the extra spending on border security after it appeared the White House agreed to the deal.

But Mr. Trump reversed course Thursday, issuing a veto threat that prompted House Republicans to rewrite the legislation.

The House narrowly passed the bill in a 217-185 vote, largely along party lines.

The bill included $5.7 billion in additional border security in a measure that would fund dozens of departments and agencies at their current levels through Feb. 8.

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