Highlights for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday: TAXES Trump proposes slashing tax rates for businesses and on overseas corporate profits returned to the country in a plan greeted as an opening gambit by his fellow Republicans in Congress. GOVERNMENT SPENDING BILL Congress inches toward a deal to fund the government through September but is preparing to possibly extend a midnight Friday deadline in order to wrap up negotiations and avoid an imminent government shutdown.
Without action before then, the government will partially shut down Saturday, which happens to be the 100th day of Trump's presidency.
On Monday evening, Trump softened his stance on his demand for immediate funding for wall construction, saying during a meeting with a group of conservative media outlets that he could wait until autumn for the funds and include them in the budget for FY 2018, which will be negotiated at that time.
If Congress can not agree to either a short stopgap funding bill or a longer-term one by midnight Friday, federal agencies will run out of money and likely have to abruptly lay off hundreds of thousands of federal government workers until an appropriations bill is enacted.
"It's Donald Trump's signature issue, it's what he held out as being important and it's what he will be judged on", Manning said of the border wall.
The border wall was one of Trump's signature election pledges past year, with the Republican touting it as best way to stop illegal immigrants and drugs from coming into the country.
"I'm very, very troubled to have to pass this on".
"I don't think it was as much of a bargaining chip as he thought it was", Collender said in an interview.
Trump vowed to fight for the wall.
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"The wall is going to get built and we're setting record numbers in terms of stopping people from coming in and stopping drugs from coming in", Trump said Tuesday, referring to a sharp decline in the number of undocumented migrants detained at the southern border since he took office.
The most powerful Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, on Tuesday said his party was concerned about the ratio of increase in defense and nondefense spending. Democrats prefer a one-to-one ratio, and boosting both sides of the budget equally could become a sticking point in negotiations.
Senator Patty Murray observed that Republican negotiators "have simply ignored" a roster of "18 billion dollar in extreme cuts" offered by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney to lower the measure's cost. The measure would also while maintain foreign aid accounts that Trump has targeted, along with a series of grant programs popular with lawmakers in both parties, such as community development block grants.
Democrats also want provisions for more healthcare coverage for coal miners and appropriations for healthcare subsidies. Through the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), health care plan buyers who are low-income individuals are allowed to buy insurance at lower prices and lower deductibles.
Democrats want assurances in the spending bill that Republicans will continue making the payments.
So far, Democrats have indicated that they're willing to go to the mat for the payments to protect the Obamacare system. Schumer, however, backpedaled on Tuesday and would no longer insist that the issue be addressed in the catchall bill and the White House sent conciliatory signals as well.
Privately, senior administration officials over the weekend said the pressure to rush for a vote on health care had subsided and that the White House's priorities were realigning with those on Capitol Hill: to pass a budget bill and keep the government open.
He made it clear that the wall remains a top priority, regardless of opponents. These include a prohibition against insurers charging higher premiums for seriously ill customers. They were crafted by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., that caucus' leader, and Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a leader of the moderate House Tuesday Group, with the backing of Vice President Mike Pence, Republicans say.