Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Trump Defends Move to Risk Government Shutdown

Border Wall Funding Trump Threatens'Very Long US Government Shutdown U.S. Senate passes legislation to avoid shutdown — it doesn’t include $5B in border wall money
Patty Aguilar | 21 December, 2018, 20:02

The bill the House took up on Thursday includes $7.81 billion in disaster funds through the rest of the fiscal year in the aftermath of widespread wildfires and Hurricanes Michael and Florence in addition to $5 billion in new money for the border wall for the rest of the fiscal year but to remain available until September 30, 2023.

The House voted 217-185, largely along party lines on Thursday. This will nearly certainly not pass in the Senate.

The Republican-led Senate had already approved funds for the government through February 8 without money for the wall. The bill keeps funding at current levels, $1.3 billion, for border security and fencing, but not for the wall.

Their only viable options on Friday are either to pass the so-called "clean" spending bill already passed by the Senate or to let the government shut down as Trump recently said he would be "proud" to do.

"The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED", Trump tweeted early Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to answer questions as he left the Capitol with other GOP senators on their way to the White House.

Schumer said Democrats oppose Trump's border demands because the wall is "inefficient" and because Trump, as a candidate, promised that Mexico would pay for it, which Mexico has refused to do.

The president has "very serious concerns about border security", House Speaker Paul Ryan said as he emerged Thursday afternoon from a White House meeting with Trump.

But he has since approved two more funding bills for the Department of Homeland Security that did not contain money for the border wall.

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While Republicans have a majority in the Senate - 51 to the Democrats' 49 - a bill needs 60 votes to pass, unlike in the House, where a simple majority is enough.

A shutdown won't affect the workforce in departments where appropriations bills have already been signed, including Defense, Education, Veterans Affairs, Energy, Labor, and Heath and Human Services.

The move has made a partial federal government shutdown more likely this weekend. Facing enormous criticism from high-profile conservative media figures, they don't want to leave town without one last fight over the border wall.

"It's really about a president that is not willing to fold without a fight", Republican Representative Mark Meadows said in an interview on Fox News.

"Now we find compromise", House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.

It is widely expected that the measure will be unable to pass in the Senate, however, given its allocation for border wall funding.

Trump's instruction for McConnell may, however, fall on deaf ears with the senate leader promising in 2017 that he would never end the filibuster in order to advance legislation.

"Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!" he tweeted. -Mexican border to thwart illegal immigration, top Republican congressional leaders said Thursday. "Wall funding is a non-starter". Such critical workers, including USA border agents, and non-essential employees would not get paid until the dispute ends. If the deadline is not extended, those agencies will shutter just days before Christmas.

"The Trump temper tantrum will shut down the government, but it will not get him his wall", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Earlier this week he appeared to shelve his shutdown threats, with the White House saying he was open to reviewing whatever bill Congress could send him. "Not for wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on an immoral, ineffective & expensive wall", said Speaker-Designate Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

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