Government spending

What's next: A bigger spending battle

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Last week, some senior members of the White House staff had a conversation about leverage. Specifically, what leverage they might have for the congressional fights ahead. According to a senior official familiar with the conversation, Mulvaney told colleagues that part of the challenge the White House had in this most recent negotiation was they "didn't have much leverage."

The big picture: Mulvaney told colleagues that "now we do" have leverage; and he said he viewed the threat of sequestration as a bigger source of leverage for the White House than any conversation about the debt ceiling, the official said.

Reports: Trump expected to sign border deal to avoid shutdown

President Trump in Oval office
Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Despite President Trump's stated dissatisfaction with Congress' bipartisan border security deal, he intends to sign it in order to avoid another partial government shutdown on Friday, report CNN and the Wall Street Journal.

Reality check: The WSJ's Rebecca Ballhaus cautions that a White House official noted that Trump was set to sign a funding bill in December before being convinced otherwise by conservative allies, kicking off a 35-day shutdown. And Politico Playbook reported Wednesday morning that some key last-minute disagreements still remain among congressional negotiators before the deal can be finalized.

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