House Dems seek to delay wall fight until September
House Democrats’ preferred plan in their border wall dispute with President Trump would push a showdown over funding until the end of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.
In that scenario, Congress would pass 6 of the 7 remaining appropriations bills for 2019, and a continuing resolution (CR) for Homeland Security, the bill that deals with border security funding.
“That’s pretty much where our position is now,” said Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) on Thursday.
That position may put House Democrats slightly at odds with their Senate counterparts.
While Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) floated the same approach last week, he is championing it as one of two options Democrats could abide. The second option, now apparently off the table, was to advance a bipartisan bill passed in the Senate Appropriations Committee this summer that included $1.6 billion in funding for 65 miles of pedestrian fencing.
Schumer reiterated the option on the Senate floor Thursday, shortly ahead of Pelosi’s remarks.
“This is something Democrats have always been for: Smart, effective, appropriate border security. This is so good that every Republican appropriator signed off on that bill a few months ago,” he said. He also reiterated that the funds could only be used for certain kinds of fencing, and not a concrete wall.
Trump has demanded $5 billion to fund the wall, an amount that House Republicans passed in their version of the Homeland Security bill earlier this year.
Even a CR, however, would renew the 2018 funding level of $1.6 billion designated for border security.
Pelosi and Schumer are scheduled to meet with Trump on Tuesday to discuss a path forward on the wall ahead of an expected Dec. 21 deadline to reach a deal.
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