Short-term spend­ing bill passed by Congress

The Oklahoman - - NATION - BY ER­ICA WERNER

Congress sent Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump a short-term spend­ing bill Thurs­day to move back the dead­line for a par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down, set­ting up a high-stakes fight over Trump’s U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der wall just be­fore Christ­mas.

The leg­is­la­tion sets a new dead­line of Dec. 21 for Trump and Democrats to re­solve their stand­off over fund­ing for the wall, which is hold­ing up ac­tion on spend­ing bills to fund Home­land Se­cu­rity Depart­ment and other fed­eral agen­cies.

If the dis­pute is not re­solved, fund­ing for those agen­cies will ex­pire, caus­ing them to be­gin to shut down and fur­lough work­ers in the mid­dle of the hol­i­day sea­son.

“We don’t want to see the gov­ern­ment shut down over Christ­mas, even though Pres­i­dent Trump seems to brag that he wants one,” Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thurs­day on the Se­nate floor. But, Schumer said, “The wall re­quest is a non­starter.”

With­out the short-term bill, the spend­ing dead­line would be Fri­day at mid­night. But law­mak­ers this week­end agreed to a two-week ex­ten­sion as Congress par­tic­i­pated in me­mo­rial events for for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush.

The House and the Se­nate passed the leg­is­la­tion by voice vote Thurs­day. Trump is ex­pected to sign the mea­sure.

But the bill does noth­ing to re­solve the cen­tral dis­pute loom­ing over the fi­nal days of the 115th Congress: Trump’s de­mand for $5 bil­lion to fund his long­promised wall along the bor­der with Mex­ico.

In their wan­ing days in con­trol of the House, Repub­li­cans know it’s their last shot to get Trump the money for the wall that was the sig­na­ture prom­ise of his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Trump long claimed Mex­ico would pay for the wall, but he is now ask­ing that it be funded by U.S. tax­pay­ers.

“I do be­lieve it’s be­come more and more of a line in the sand, es­pe­cially when you have just a week or two left to be able to fi­nal­ize things and get it across the fin­ish line,” said Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C. “This is a huge is­sue that not only the pres­i­dent cam­paigned on, but many other mem­bers said, ‘Hey, this Congress we’re go­ing to get this done.’ “

Schumer and House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are set to meet with Trump on Tues­day. But the party lead­ers have re­peat­edly re­jected Trump’s $5 bil­lion de­mand, es­pe­cially as Democrats pre­pare to take over the House in Jan­uary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.