Lawmakers have finalized a massive spending bill and border security compromise that is expected to pass both the House and Senate later this evening.
The final deal appears to have broad support, despite some lingering criticism from the far right and far left. The compromise, reached by a bipartisan conference committee, includes just $1.375 billion for fencing along the border in Texas, far less than the $5.7 billion that President Trump had sought for his border wall.
Trump is expected to sign the bill and avert another government shutdown. “I don’t want to see a shutdown,” Trump told reporters yesterday. “A shutdown would be a terrible thing.”
Trump did say, however, that White House staff will be scrutinizing the bill text for “poison pill” riders inserted by congressional Democrats that could cause him to reconsider signing the legislation.
Democrats agreed to scrap language that would have granted back pay to federal contractors affected by the 35-day government shutdown. The package does, however, limit detention capacity by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which was a contentious issue during the negotiations.
Trump has been insisting that the border wall will get built regardless of what Congress does and may use executive powers to access additional funding for the border wall. The White House is reportedly considering reallocating some Defense Department funding for the wall.
“We will get the wall done,” Trump said at an event with law enforcement officials yesterday. “We have options that most people don’t understand.”
If it passes and Trump signs it, the bill will fund Homeland Security, Commerce, Agriculture, Housing, State and Treasury through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Despite some support from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and others, a package of several dozen tax breaks known as extenders won’t be included in the spending deal moving through Congress today. These temporary tax breaks expired at the end of 2017 and would need to be retroactively extended by Congress for taxpayers to be able to claim them this filing season.