House Republicans dig in on increased funding for border

House Republicans dig in on increased funding for border
© Stefani Reynolds

House Republicans are pushing to secure President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden, Sanders lead field in Iowa poll The Memo: Cohen fans flames around Trump Memo Comey used to brief Trump on dossier released: report MORE's request for $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, a move that could contribute to a government shutdown in early December if an agreement isn't reached with Democrats.

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyScalise backs Stefanik's push to help GOP women in primaries GOP struggles to find right Republican for Rules ‘Wake up, dudes’ — gender gap confounds GOP women MORE (Wyo.), the incoming House Republican Conference chairwoman who participated in a White House meeting Tuesday with Trump, said that events along the southern border show that improved security is needed.

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"It's very clear if you look at what's happening on the southern border what we've got to be able to do to provide the security the country needs," she said Wednesday at a news conference on Capitol Hill. "We're committed to doing that, and the president has been very clear that $5 billion is the number that we're going to be focused on, the number we need."

While a House-passed spending bill meets the president's requirements for funding, the Senate’s Homeland Security appropriations bill would allocate $1.6 billion toward border security — teeing up a contentious funding fight ahead of a Dec. 7 deadline to avert a government shutdown.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) indicated that Democrats in the upper chamber would not support legislation that increases border funding, asserting Republicans would be at fault if the government shuts down.

“The $1.6 billion for border security negotiated by Democrats and Republicans is our position. We believe that is the right way to go,” he told reporters Tuesday. “If there’s any shutdown, it’s on President Trump’s back."

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report – Cohen says Trump knew payments were wrong | GOP in turmoil over Trump shutdown threat | Kyl to resign from Senate at year's end Trump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming Senate heads toward floor fight on criminal justice bill MORE (R-Wis.) said it will come down to what the White House and Senate Democrats are able to agree on.

"Our bill contains the president's full request for the border, but ultimately the president and the Senate Democrats are going to have to come to an agreement as well," he said at Wednesday's press conference. "As you know, this takes 60 votes in the Senate."

"Hopefully, after the election, Democrats realize a secure border should not be a Republican thing, it should not be a Democrat thing — it's just good for the country to actually secure our border," Ryan added. "The House is there; I hope the Senate comes with us."

Republicans have pointed to a caravan of migrants from Central America arriving at the U.S. border as an example of why increased funding levels are needed.

House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTrump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming Overnight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force House lawmakers delay decision on Saudi Arabia pending investigation MORE (R-La.), who held a meeting with the GOP whip team and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenFormer GOP lawmaker on death of 7-year-old migrant girl: Message should be ‘don't make this journey, it will kill you' Young girl's death draws new scrutiny over US treatment of migrants No reason to assume American relations with Mexico are rocky MORE on Tuesday, cited attacks on Border Patrol agents as a reason to meet the president's funding request.

"First of all there are more than 600 convicted criminals that are part of the caravan that we know of, there might be more," he said. "We also know that every member of the caravan was offered asylum — and not just work permits, but jobs, offered work permits and jobs — by Mexico. So if somebody is truly seeking asylum they were already offered that by Mexico."