Border wall, impeachment battle imperil budget progress

Lawmakers likely to pass stopgap spending bill to avoid shutdown

AP
October 31, 2019 - 12:10 am

In this Oct. 29, 2019, photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, walks to the podium with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. A bitter fight over funding for border fencing is imperiling Capitol Hill efforts to forge progress on more than $1.4 trillion worth of overdue spending bills. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A bitter fight over funding for border fencing is placing in peril Capitol Hill efforts to forge progress on more than $1.4 trillion worth of overdue spending bills.

It's one of the few areas in which divided government in Washington has been able to deliver results in the Trump era.

Poisonous political fallout from the ongoing impeachment battle isn't helping matters.

Lawmakers are likely to prevent a government shutdown next month with a government-wide stopgap spending bill. But there has been little progress, if any, on the tricky trade-offs needed to balance Democratic demands for social programs with President Donald Trump's ballooning border wall demands.

Even an expected Senate vote on Thursday to pass a $209 billion bundle of four bipartisan spending bills isn't regarded as much headway.

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