- 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.

SEE ALSO: Trump calls on Mitch McConnell to go nuclear on spending bill

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.

SEE ALSO: Trump warns Senate Democrats of ‘very long’ government shutdown if they block border security

“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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