The White House backed off its position taken by President Trump last week that he would be happy to shut down portions of the federal government if he didn’t get the $5 billion in funding he wants to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. Instead, his spokeswoman on Tuesday, Sarah Sanders, said the administration will find alternate funding to help fulfill his signature campaign promise.

Still, several funding bills remain unresolved in Congress and the midnight deadline on Friday is fast approaching. So Texas Monthly reached out to U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar. The Laredo Democrat has a unique vantage point on the looming showdown as a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Cuellar spoke with Carlos Sanchez for our Reporter podcast and shared his perspective not only on the funding battle in Washington, but on our relationship with Mexico.