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Trump backs off demand for immediate border-wall funding

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         Trump backs off demand for immediate border-wall funding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is open to waiting until later this year to secure funding for a wall along the border with Mexico, White House officials said Monday night, in a shift that could clear the way for lawmakers to strike a deal to avoid a government shutdown on Saturday.

Trump and top administration officials had previously indicated the president wanted to include money to begin building a wall along the Southern border in the bill needed this week to keep the government running after its current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, which is also the president’s 100th day in office.

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Trump addressed the issue at a reception with conservative media at the White House on Monday night. The president’s new flexibility over whether the wall is funded in this spending bill or one that will be needed in late September could remove one of the last remaining hurdles facing congressional Democrats and Republicans hammering out the five-month bill they must pass this week to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Without the debate over the border wall, lawmakers may be able to come to an agreement on the spending bill relatively quickly. Both Democrats and Republicans had signaled they were willing increase money for the military and for broader border security before administration officials last week indicated that Trump would press for money to begin building the wall.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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