With a potential government shutdown set for Friday at midnight, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney confirmed on Tuesday that President Donald Trump would, in fact, sign a funding bill that did not provide money to build his border wall.
"The offer that we received from the Democrats the last couple days included a good bit of money for border security," Mulvaney said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
When Tapper asked if Trump would sign the bill even without funding for a border wall, a clear administration priority in early talks, Mulvaney said "yeah."
He added that the border security money in the bill would allow Trump "to follow through on his promise to make that border more secure." However, he said the administration was not backing down from its demand for border wall funding.
"We just thought that it would be a good first step to get these things that everybody agrees on and take that idea of a government shutdown off the table," Mulvaney said.
The discussion for what to do in fiscal year 2018, which starts October 1, starts "as soon as this bill is signed," he added.
But despite the White House tabling the border wall money request on this bill, Mulvaney said avoiding a government shutdown was not yet a sure thing. He said they had yet to get a response after they told Democrats they would accept a bill without wall funding.
"We've not heard anything from them today," Mulvaney said. "We thought we had a deal as of yesterday."
Trump pledged throughout his campaign to construct a wall between the United States and Mexico. He insisted that Mexico would pay for the wall. In his campaign's "Contract with the American Voter," Trump promised he would get Congress to pass a bill fully funding his wall, with the caveat that Mexico would reimburse the United States for it, in the first 100 days of his presidency.
In March, the administration requested money from Congress as a "down payment" on the wall, which Trump said would be recouped later from Mexico.