Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution spells out how a bill becomes a law. When it comes to the president’s role in this process, that section is most often thought of in the context of the veto. But it also states: “If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a law, in like Manner as if he signed it…”
This provision offers the president and Congress a way out of the shutdown without betraying their respective political constituencies. McConnell could bring the newest House bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote — where it seems likely to pass — and the president could allow the bill to become law, without shouldering the potential political liability of appearing to endorse it.
While the House bill contains no money for a border wall (though it does include appropriations for border security), it does not rule out additional funding for border security in the future. Once the government is open, Congress and the administration can revisit the issue of border security separately — or, better yet, as part of comprehensive immigration reform —without continuing to inflict pain on furloughed workers.