By Alexander Bolton - 03-28-17 14:40 PM EDT
President Trump's funding request for a border wall will likely be put on hold, Senate Republican leaders signaled Tuesday.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, announced at a leadership press conference that Trump's supplemental funding request will wait until later in the year.
He said the Senate and House leadership are very close to negotiating a bill to fund government for the rest of 2017.
Adding a supplemental spending bill requested by Trump to pay for military activities and a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would complicate the talks and should be dealt with at a later date, Blunt added.
"We have the FY17 defense bill," Blunt said, noting it is the top priority of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and could be used as a vehicle to pass bills funding other federal departments.
"All of the committees, House and Senate leaderships, are working together to try to finalize the rest of the FY17 bill," he added. "My guess is that comes together better without the supplemental."
Blunt said the supplemental could be dealt with "at a later time."
Government funding is due to expire April 28. Lawmakers have expressed concern about a potential government shutdown over the inclusion of money for Trump's controversial proposal to build a wall.
Trump requested that money to begin construction of the wall be included along with military funding in a supplemental spending bill.