House Democrats announce plan to end government shutdown without funding border wall
House Democrats said on Monday that they have put forward legislation to end the ongoing partial government when they take control of the chamber starting Thursday.
The House will vote on six appropriation bills to fund most agencies through September 30 with the exception of The Department of Homeland Security. The chamber will vote on a separate continuing resolution to fund DHS through February 8.
The legislation does not include new funding for a border wall and is nearly identical to bills that passed the Republican-controlled Senate on a bipartisan basis, according to Rep. Nita Lowey, who is set take over as chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.
In a statement, House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer put the onus on Senate Republicans to support the legislation.
“It would be the height of irresponsibility and political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported,” the Democrats said.
Pelosi and Schumer said Senate Republicans would otherwise be “complicit with President Trump in continuing the Trump shutdown and in holding the health and safety of the American people and workers’ paychecks hostage over the wall.”
Democrats will gain control of the lower chamber of Congress on Thursday, when the 116th Congress is sworn in.
The proposals are likely to face strong opposition from Trump, who has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to secure funding for the wall.
Trump’s endorsement could prove key to moving any plan forward, given the obstacles to overcoming a presidential veto. And the GOP-dominated upper chamber is unlikely to vote on any bill the president hasn’t approved.
“It’s simple: The Senate is not going to send something to the President that he won’t sign,” David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told CNBC on Monday.
To overcome a presidential veto, at least 55 Republicans would have to vote with every Democrat in the House. Overcoming a veto would also require the votes of 67 senators. Republicans will control 53 senate seats in the next Congress.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus and is considered a close ally of Trump’s, said a proposal without funding money for a border wall is a “non-starter.”
The partial government shutdown entered its 10th day on New Year’s Eve with little signs of progress. In a series of posts on Twitter, the president re-upped his demands for border wall funding.
“I campaigned on Border Security, which you cannot have without a strong and powerful Wall,” the president wrote in one post.
“I’m in the Oval Office,” he wrote in another. “Democrats, come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for Border Security, including the Wall.”
Approximately 800,000 federal employees are either out of work or working without pay during the shutdown.