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 TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview 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 CheneyOvernight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House Liz Cheney calls for House vote on Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Liz Cheney mocks Booker over factory farming comments: 'I support PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals' 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 RyanUnscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration 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 ScaliseOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Texas man with politician hit list, illegally 3D printed rifle sentenced to eight years The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? MORE (R-La.), who held a meeting with the GOP whip team and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele Nielsen2,000 asylum seekers return home, decide to stay in Mexico: report Trump taps FEMA official to lead agency Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden 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."