Politics

Congressional bargainers present bill to fund government, avoid shutdown

Bipartisan Congressional bargainers have completed a 1,159-page bill to fund the government and avoid another shutdown, said House Appropriations chairwoman Nita Lowey early Thursday. According to summaries of the bill, it includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of bollard fencing along the southern border and Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

President Trump had refused to sign budget bill at the end of 2018 that did not include more than $5 billion for a border wall. Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday he had reviewed the border funding agreement reached by the bipartisan group of congressional negotiators. 

The bill will need to be approved by both Houses of Congress and the Senate and then signed by Mr. Trump to avoid another government shutdown. 

An additional $900 million was set aside for enhanced inspections at ports of entry, new technology, opioid detection and customs officers.   

The bill also includes $415 million for what Lowey called a “more humane immigration system,” including medical support, transportation, food and clothing for migrants in detention.

Funding is set aside for 40,520 ICE detention beds by the end of the fiscal year, down from the approximately 49,060 current ICE beds, according to summaries of the bill. 

Trump “not happy” with border security deal, still likely to sign

The bill also includes a 1.9 percent pay increase for federal civilian workers, overriding Mr. Trump’s order to deny a pay raise.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters Wednesday there will be no vote on the funding bill until after 6:30 p.m. Thursday. 

If Congress doesn’t pass a bill to fund the government, the government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, three weeks after the historic 35-day government shutdown. 

Democrats and Republicans reached a deal late Monday on legislation to fund the government past the Friday deadline. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the deal Thursday evening.

An official familiar with the matter told CBS News he is “very likely” to sign the deal if it reaches his desk, even though Mr. Trump told reporters Tuesday, “I can’t say I’m happy. I can’t say I’m thrilled.”

CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett told “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday the president has been handed the “worst deal of all the ones ever put before him” because it contains the smallest dollar amount possible for border security funding.

In recent days and weeks, the president hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a national emergency declaration if he doesn’t get sufficient funding for his border wall in the legislation. The declaration would allow him to bypass Congress to find money to build the wall.


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