House Passes Bipartisan Legislation to End Trump Shutdown, Support Border Security
The House today approved, 234-180, a new bipartisan package to reopen the government. The legislation, H.R. 648, reflects bipartisan House-Senate conference agreements negotiated by Republican and Democratic appropriators in both chambers last year. It includes $1.6 billion for border security-related initiatives.
“Just this morning, President Trump’s chief economic adviser warned that the shutdown could lead to zero economic growth this quarter. The solution to the Trump Shutdown is simple: reopen the government, pay our federal employees, and then negotiate border security and immigration policy proposals that can command bipartisan support,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey said. “This legislation is a step in that direction. It includes six appropriations bills where Democrats and Republicans have already compromised. It would reopen most federal agencies, get our government working again, and fund important border security-related initiatives.”
The legislation reflects conference agreements for six appropriations bills: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. It also includes language to pay federal employees who have been working without pay or furloughed because of the Trump Shutdown.
The package includes $1.6 billion in key border security-related measures, as follows:
- $524.2 million for improvements in ports of entry: The Financial Services and General Government bill includes $524.2 million for investments in ports of entry, in order to meet the latest security requirements, improve border security, and increase capacity for vehicular traffic.
- $563.4 million for additional immigration judges: The Commerce-Justice-Science bill in the package includes $563.4 million to accelerate the recruitment and hiring of additional immigration judges, in order to address the backlog in processing immigration cases.
- $527 million for assistance to Central America: The State-Foreign Operations-Related Programs bill includes $527 million for assistance to Central America, a critical investment in addressing conditions in Central American countries that many migrants are fleeing from.
Since January 3, the House has passed nine bills to reopen the federal government. That includes a Continuing Resolution through February 28, an emergency disaster appropriations bill that included a CR through February 8, four individual bipartisan Senate appropriations bills, a package of six bipartisan Senate appropriations bills, and a CR for Homeland Security through February 8. House Republicans blocked the passage of a tenth bill, a CR through February 1. Tomorrow, the House is expected to consider an 11th bill, a Continuing Resolution funding the Department of Homeland Security through February 28.
For the text of H.R, 648, please visit: https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20190121/BILLS-116hr648.pdf