President Donald Trump is scheduled to depart Washington and head to his Florida resort hours before the deadline to avoid a government shutdown Friday at midnight.
The President is planning to spend the weekend at Mar-a-Lago for the one-year anniversary of his inauguration. However, his trip comes amid the looming shutdown deadline as Congress battles against the clock to keep the government open.
“We believe that the bill will pass and the President will have an opportunity to sign it,” White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah told reporters Thursday. “I mean, some of the timing and logistics of travel will have to reflect the reality, but we expect it to be passed. And we expect the President to be able to travel to Florida this weekend.”
Trump is scheduled to depart Washington in the 4 p.m. hour Friday.
Vice President Mike Pence is also scheduled to leave Washington Friday evening, on his three-country swing to the Middle East. Pence will go to Egypt, Israel and Jordan.
CNN’s Jim Acosta reported Thursday that White House staffers were mulling the idea that Trump could use Twitter later to signal that the federal government will not close down.
The idea is that if the Senate passes the continuing resolution to keep the government open Friday, the President could then tweet that he will sign the continuing resolution. That would be an indication the government is open, even if he signs the actual bill at a later time.
The House voted Thursday night to keep the government open through mid-February and now the matter moves to the Senate.
If the Senate passes the legislation, it would then be sent to Trump’s desk for him to sign.