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Kaine, Warner Hopeful About Avoiding Government Shutdown

AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana

Leaders in Washington may be heading toward yet another government shutdown, although Virginia’s two senators are hopeful Congress can avoid brinkmanship.

President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats are at odds over the budget, a familiar conflict that may be heading toward yet another government shutdown.

Senator Mark Warner says he actually agrees with the president about funding border security. And he says he would support electronic sensors and drones and even fencing.

“But there’s no one on the border security expertise side that has said some kind of mysterious wall. And, again, if Donald Trump wants a wall bring along the check from the government of Mexico, which he promised from day one that they would pay for this wall.”

Trump may be running out of time to build the wall. Once the new Congress is sworn in next month, says Senator Tim Kaine, Democrats will send over a budget that has money for border security. But no funding for a wall.

“We’ll keep putting that on the president’s desk and making him veto it. There’s no way out of this for him, none, where the shutdown works.”

Kaine says Trump has already defanged the threat of a shutdown by saying he would be responsible for it. So he doubts it’ll happen. Warner says there’s no rational reason for a shutdown, and he’s hopeful a continuing resolution will kick the can down the road until next year.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.