House leaders have laid out plans to pass several “minibus” packages to fund government agencies before government funding expires on Sept. 30.
Various policy disputes and the White House are complicating the process, however. Spending negotiations have slowed since Congress’s return from August recess due to debate over dozens of policy riders and President Trump’s border wall funding.
House Republicans wanted to have a conference report on the first minibus – a $145 billion package that covers Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs – by the end of this week. While the Senate was largely successful in tamping down any “poison pill” amendments that could derail passage, more than a dozen policy riders were included in the House-passed version of this first minibus.
President Trump added to the pressure on Congress this week by saying of a possible government shutdown: “If it happens, it happens.”
“If it’s about border security, I’m willing to do anything,” Trump said. “We have to protect our borders. If we don’t protect our borders, our country is not going to be a country.”