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Even If The Senate Passes A Spending Bill, A Shutdown May Still Happen

The Senate cancelled most of its August recess to get a funding bill passed, but the president says he'll veto it unless it funds a border wall.
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Even If The Senate Passes A Spending Bill, A Shutdown May Still Happen

Congress is heading into another shutdown showdown, and some are worried that President Trump could use the financial deadline to put his foot down on funding for his border wall. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced this week that he had canceled most of the August recess, keeping senators in Washington to hammer out appropriations bills before the government runs out of money on Sept. 30. 

"The reason is simple: We have too much left to do for the American people," McConnell said during a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday. 

That means senators are now losing valuable time to campaign in their home states just before the midterm elections. Even if they do pass legislation, President Trump has threatened to veto any bill that doesn't include funding for his border wall. 

"If we don't change it, let's have a shutdown. We'll do a shutdown and it's worth it for our country. I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of," Trump warned at an immigration roundtable in February, just days before the last funding deadline. 

Some GOP senators say they think they're close to reaching a deal to protect undocumented immigrants under DACA and secure funding for Trump's wall.

"Most certainly, I think it's still a possible thing to do, but it would mean the White House would have to take a leadership role, stepping forward and saying, 'This is what I will accept and this is what I will not accept.' That has not happened yet," said Republican Sen. Mike Rounds, one of several GOP senators who pressured McConnell to cancel the August recess.

This isn't the first time Trump has played chicken with Congress over border wall funding. He pledged to veto an omnibus spending bill earlier this year. He reluctantly signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill in March as a matter of national security. 

"I will never sign another bill like this again. I'm not going to do it again," Trump warned after signing the bill.

The White House requested $1.6 billion for the wall earlier this year. The wall is expected to cost $25 billion to complete. 

Congress hasn't allocated any money for the border wall yet. While there's no guarantee Congress will fund the wall this time around, some GOP senators say they are ready to cancel their August plans to get a budget passed, even if Trump won't sign it. 

"Look, I think it should be in there. It may be the case that he will veto something if it doesn't contain that funding. I still don't think that that makes it beside the point. It doesn't make it any less necessary, the task of getting a spending bill passed this summer before we adjourn for the August recess," said Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.