Trump, lawmakers battle over shutdown, wall funding
- By Troy K. Schneider, Adam Mazmanian
- Dec 20, 2018
A partial government shutdown seems likely after the House of Representatives passed a stopgap funding bill that includes $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Senate had previously passed a bill that extended funding for a handful of agencies that were not funded by appropriations bills. That continuing resolution did not include funding for the wall, which Democrats do not support.
If, as expected, the Senate does not support the House bill on Friday, then either the House and President Donald Trump have to cave at the eleventh hour, or else there will be a partial government shutdown at midnight.
The sudden lurch by the House to pass wall funding came about after leaders from both chambers had agreed in principle to punt the government funding decisions into next year.
The House voted 217-185 to support the wall funding, with eight Republicans voting no.
President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he would not sign a short-term spending bill that lacks significant new border-security funding.
At midnight on Dec. 21, funding is set to expire for DHS as well as the Departments of Commerce, State, Treasury, Interior, Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture as well as the General Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Management and Budget, NASA and others.
In total, about 380,000 federal employees would be furloughed, while approximately 400,000 – including more than 210,000 at DHS – would be deemed essential and have to report to work without their paychecks.
In remarks to a reporter Dec. 20, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a founder of the right-wing Freedom Caucus that staunchly urged Trump to dig in on the wall said that that lapses in appropriations and unpaid furloughs are part of federal employment.
"It's actually part of what you do when you sign up for any public service position And it’s not lost on me in terms of, you know, the potential hardship. At the same time, they know they would be required to work and even in preparation for a potential shutdown those groups within the agencies have been instructed to show up," Meadows said.
This story was updated Dec. 20 after the House vote.