A government shutdown became more likely Thursday night as the House passed 217-185 a continuing resolution that sticks $5.7 billion in border wall funding back into the Senate version of the stopgap appropriations measure.
The Senate allocated $1.3 billion for border security funding that does not include construction of a concrete wall.
The border-wall prototypes viewed by President Trump in Southern California earlier this year were composed of concrete or a mix of concrete and fenced sections to allow Border Patrol agents better visibility. While congressional approval for a wall has been pending, repairs and renovations along critical border sections have been approved using steel bollard fencing, which Trump approvingly refers to now as “steel slats.”
Trump “does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
“Soon to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, last week live from the Oval Office, that the Republicans didn’t have the votes for Border Security. Today the House Republicans voted and won, 217-185. Nancy does not have to apologize. All I want is GREAT BORDER SECURITY!” Trump tweeted late Thursday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday evening, “The bottom line is simple: the Trump temper tantrum will shut down the government, but it will not get him his wall. The bill that’s on the floor of the House, everyone knows will not pass the Senate.”
The Senate expected it was done with year-end business after passing the continuing resolution on Wednesday, but lawmakers are now expected to reconvene at noon today to avert a midnight shutdown.
Government employees in areas deemed urgent keep working through a shutdown. In this case, workers whose departments’ appropriations bills have already been approved and signed would also stay on the job, including Defense, Education, Veterans Affairs, Energy, Labor, and Heath and Human Services.
However, the Department of Homeland Security would be affected, as well as Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Interior, State, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.
If the Christmas shutdown goes into effect, it would be the third this year. There were two brief shutdowns in the beginning of the year.