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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Multiple Hill aides tell Axios that Republicans have no appetite for another government shutdown over President Donald Trump's border wall in mid-November, but amid the impeachment fight, Democrats are voicing concerns that Trump may hijack the spending process.

What they're saying: "I’m worried, again, that the president is going to push us to a shutdown," Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, told Axios.

  • "[Trump] always likes to create diversions,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters on Tuesday. “I hope and pray he won’t want to cause another government shutdown because it might be a diversion away from impeachment."

The key issue: House Democrats want to prevent Trump from transferring funds from elsewhere in the government to be used for the wall. Senate Republicans want $5 billion to go to the wall's construction.

  • "We’re at an impasse," one Democratic staffer said.
  • A short-term spending bill into early 2020 is the likeliest fix.
  • The question is whether Trump will accept that.

House Democrats are ready to offer up a clean, short-term spending bill on the Nov. 21 deadline — and Trump could view that as a dare to shut down the government.

Meanwhile, the Senate is moving forward to try to pass funding bills for parts of the government not involved in the border wall.

  • A senior GOP Senate aide told Axios that Democrats are the only ones talking about the shutdown, and that “it’s no joke that Dems can’t walk and chew gum at the same time while they obsess over impeachment.”

The big picture: Last year's prolonged government shutdown over the border wall backfired politically against President Trump and Republicans. Republicans have "zero appetite" to do it again, one Senate GOP aid told Axios. But time is ticking. Congress is up against the holidays, priorities including the USMCA and an impeachment proceeding that may eventually shut down the Senate.

  • In private, Cuellar said, his Republican colleagues have expressed fatigue over the border wall issue. "They wish we could just do the appropriation bills and just move on," he said, but, "they’re not going to do that publicly."

What to watch: Funding deadlines in the House and Senate coinciding with the impeachment process could cause logistical problems.

  • ”Once they pass something in the House, then [impeachment] shuts down the Senate," Brendan Buck, who was an aide to former House Speaker Paul Ryan, told Axios.

Go deeper

7 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

7 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.