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21 Dec, 2018 01:04

US House approves funding bill with $5.7bn for Trump's border wall

US House approves funding bill with $5.7bn for Trump's border wall

The US House of Representatives has approved $5.7bn in funding for a border wall after President Trump rejected a budget without it. The Senate is unlikely to pass the new bill, raising fears of a partial government shutdown.

Trump had stated earlier on Thursday that he would refuse to sign any version of the bill without funding for a wall, sending a compromise bill that would have kept the government open through February back to the drawing board.

Also on rt.com No deal: Shutdown looms after Trump refuses to sign funding bill without Wall money

The House voted 217-185 to pass the new version of the bill, mostly split between Republicans and Democrats, who have rejected funding the wall. Without a successful agreement, funding for many government departments will expire at midnight on Friday.

This is the last chance for the Republican-led House to flex its muscles, as January will see a new Democratic majority seated, and the Republicans’ Freedom Caucus has promised to back Trump in his push for the wall.

While Republicans have a majority in the Senate – 51 to the Democrats’ 49 – a bill needs 60 votes to pass, unlike in the House, where a simple majority is enough.

In a meeting with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi last week, Trump said he would be "proud" to shut down the government to get his wall. On Thursday, he tweeted that congressional leadership had talked him into signing last year’s government funding bill with a promise that the wall would be funded afterwards – only to renege on the deal.

According to two senior Trump advisers, the president is taking the crisis very seriously – he will not travel to Florida on Friday for Christmas if the government partially shuts down.