DEMS/GOP/GOVERNMENT/SPENDING/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WALL: “The Senate’s top Republican said Tuesday [12-18-18] he’s confident that lawmakers and the White House will be able to avoid a government shutdown even though Democrats have rejected the GOP’s proposal for ending the impasse…Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is exploring ‘different’ sources to pay for his proposed wall along the Mexican border, the White House said Tuesday in a potential sign the administration is backing away from a confrontation with Congress days before a partial government shutdown…Later at the White House, Trump was asked by reporters if there would be a government shutdown. ‘We’ll see what happens,’ he said. ‘Too early to say.’ Lawmakers have until midnight Friday [12-21-18] to pass a spending measure or shut down some federal agencies. But negotiations are caught up in a fight over Trump’s demand for $5 billion to pay for the southern border wall he promised to build during his campaign. Negotiations were ongoing Tuesday. A Democratic aide said McConnell proposed approving a pending bill that includes $1.6 billion for border fencing along with an additional $1 billion for immigration. Democrats described the additional funding as a “slush fund” and said they had spurned the offer.”

John Fritze, David Jackson, Nicole Gaudiano and Michael Collins, “Sen. Mitch McConnell says he’s confident government shutdown can be avoided as Democrats turn down latest offer,” USA Today, December 18, 2018 5:04 pm