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 TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction 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 CheneyRep. Cheney: Socialism 'driving the agenda of the Democratic Party' Dem lawmaker offers tool for 'filling in the blanks' of Green New Deal Judd Gregg: In praise of Mike Enzi 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 RyanFEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty 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 ScaliseGOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure This week: Democrats revive net neutrality fight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Biden says he's 'not sorry' for past actions MORE (R-La.), who held a meeting with the GOP whip team and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenOvernight Energy: Mueller report reveals Russian efforts to sow division over coal jobs | NYC passes sweeping climate bill likened to 'Green New Deal' | EPA official says agency may ban asbestos | Energy Dept. denies Perry planning exit The Hill's 12:30 Report: Inside the Mueller report Energy Dept denies report that Rick Perry is planning to leave Trump admin 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."