Trump says he hasn't changed position on wall

If no spending measure covering April 29 to September 30 is in place before 12:01 a.m. (0401 GMT) on Saturday, government funds will halt and hundreds of thousands of the country's several million federal employees will be temporarily laid off. Trump had run the risk of being blamed by Democrats for a shutdown whose start would coincide with the day he marks 100 days in office. Trump has announced a rally in Pennsylvania to mark the day.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday that administration negotiators including Trump's budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, "feel very confident" that a shutdown won't occur.

Instead of a wall, lawmakers are expressing support for funding a broader set of security measures along the southern border, including the use of drones and other high technology.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., approved of Trump's apparent shift.

President Donald Trump has accomplished just 10 of the 38 specific promises made in his 100-day "contract" with voters. She called the wall an "immoral, ineffective, unwise proposal". Republicans are seeking an initial $1.4 billion in the spending bill, but many question the wisdom of an enormous wall.

Trump admitted last week that the thing his base wants "more than anything" is the border wall.

"The wall is very, very important", Trump said after signing an executive order directing Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to ease regulations for farmers. Trump has said Mexico will eventually repay the United States for the wall, but the Mexican government has been adamant it will not do so, and Trump has not laid out a plan to compel it.

It's not that Trump's Republican allies in Congress, who are the majority, don't support the notions underpinning a border wall.

"There will never be a 2,200-mile wall built, period", said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., another Trump critic in the GOP, who is in lock step with McCain on defense issues. "I think it's become symbolic of better border security". Democrats are expected to concede smaller amounts for each, provided the former is assigned to generic "border security" and the latter is matched with allocations for non-defense projects, such as foreign aid. Blocking wall funding would be a bigger win for them. But the reality of the budget process is making it a hard one to keep.

He continued: "Trump, I'm sure, does not ever think he caves on anything".

Some Republicans indicated they would not be willing to allow the government to shut down over the wall. "There's another way, another time to get this".

Trump had run the risk of being blamed by Democrats for a shutdown, which would start on his 100th day in office.

Republicans are also vetting proposed changes to their beleaguered health care bill that they hope will attract enough votes to finally push it through the House. They say they're getting close to the votes needed in the House to move forward. GOP leaders avoided a planned House vote last month, which would have failed due to opposition from GOP moderates and conservatives alike.

The original GOP bill eliminated numerous mandates, offered skimpier subsidies for consumers to buy care and rolled back a Medicaid expansion. Was it a trial balloon to see if Congressional Republicans might be open to it? "ObamaCare is in a death spiral!" Among the sticking points is the fate of cost-sharing arrangements that help reduce health insurance costs for low-income Americans buying plans through the Affordable Care Act, the reform implemented by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.

Democrats are opposed to funding the wall. Supporters of the health law warn its marketplaces could collapse if those funds are taken away.