House Democrats on Tuesday advanced a Homeland Security spending bill that includes no funding for President Trump’s border wall, setting up another possible government shutdown later this year.
The House Appropriations Committee approved the Homeland Security spending bill on a party-line 29-20 vote, and the bill should be on the House floor later in June. The bill provides a total of $63.8 billion for Homeland Security, and rescinds $601 million from Customs and Border Protection, offsetting funds that President Trump diverted from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund toward building the wall. Restrictions in the bill also tighten the reins on the administration’s practice of transferring funds from other departments for purposes other than those intended by Congress.
“The bill provides no funding for new additional border barriers and prohibits the use of any other federal funds for border barrier construction other than those explicitly appropriated by Congress in prior years,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, chairwoman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security.
Republicans on the committee opposed the bill and said House Democrats are ignoring a major border security crisis just to make political points against President Trump.
“The bill marked up in committee today falls far below the administration’s request, and it does not provide the funds needed to both provide humanitarian aid and secure the border,” said Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Appropriations Committee ranking member. “We must put partisanship aside – the safety of the American people and those seeking entry into our country is at stake.”
Border wall funding was the sticking point in the 35-day shutdown in December and January. After the shutdown ended without more funding, President Trump declared a state of national emergency and began diverting funds from the Pentagon and other departments to fund wall construction.
Homeland Security is one of 12 spending bills that funds the federal government that must be passed by Oct. 1.