PHOENIX — A major roadblock in hammering out a federal budget deal appears to have been removed.
President Donald Trump stepped back Monday from demanding a down payment for his border wall in spending legislation. Trump told a gathering of conservative journalists that he would be willing to return to the wall funding issue in September.
Congress has until midnight Friday to hammer out a budget deal to avoid a possible government shutdown.
Valley economist Elliott Pollock said he expected Congress to pass a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government going until a final budget can be ironed out.
“It’s 50-50 of seeing a shutdown given the nature of the combatants,” Pollock said.
“The vitriol is high on both sides, it’s all politics. The budget the president presented has things the Democrats don’t like at all because it doesn’t contain things that they want.
“Chances are there will be some type of resolution to keep everything running for a week or two while negotiations continue,” Pollock said.
If there is a shutdown, the military would still operate, Social Security checks would go out and mail would still be delivered.
“If you want to get a passport or take a vacation to a national park you’ll be out of luck,” Pollock said.
The two most recent shutdowns were October 2013 during the Obama Administration, when lawmakers in the House and the Senate could not agree on a spending bill to fund the government.
The shutdown lasted 16 days. A 21-day shutdown during the Clinton Administration began Dec. 15, 1995 and lasted until Jan. 6, 1996.
The 100-day mark of the Trump presidency falls on Saturday.
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