Democrats release Homeland Security funding bill without money for border wall

House Democrats are bucking President Trump with their newly released funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including no funds for border walls or barriers of any kind in the legislation.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said the 2020 DHS funding bill, released Tuesday, is meant to protect the nation’s values.

{mosads}“This includes upholding the rights and dignity of migrants, protecting against attempts by the Trump administration to steal funds from measures that actually keep us safe for a vanity border wall, and providing no funding for additional Border Patrol agents and checkpoints or border barriers,” Lowey said. 

The bill is the opening salvo in a fight that could lead to another government shutdown over border security.

Earlier this year, Trump shut down the government for a record 35 days after Democrats refused to comply with his demands for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the end, Trump acquiesced to a compromise of $1.375 billion for barriers, on par with what was offered before the shutdown, and well below the amount he demanded. 

Trump went on to declare a state of emergency at the border, which would allow him to circumvent Congress and use military funds to build the barrier. 

House Democrats have included provisions in their 2020 spending bills that would block such attempts to reprogram funds to build a wall. 

For example, a military construction spending bill blocked funds from being reprogrammed for building a wall, and the financial services spending bill included provisions preventing forfeited funds for that purpose.

Democrats are also seeking to block Trump’s emergency moves in court.

The $63.8 billion DHS bill increases spending by $2.2 billion over current levels, but comes in $1.9 billion below Trump’s request. 

The DHS bill is the last of 12 spending bills the House Democrats have released for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Combined, the bills represented a broad rejection of Trump’s agenda and budget requests. Trump had proposed slashing domestic spending by as much 10 percent, including deep cuts to the State Department, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Health and Department of Transportation, among other programs.

The House bills flouted his proposals, adding $34 billion to domestic spending and $17 billion to defense.

— Updated Tuesday at 9:58 a.m.

Tags Appropriations Border wall Donald Trump funding Government shutdown Nita Lowey

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