House Democrats on Thursday were able to pass another a short-term bill to reopen the government — but like other recent attempts, it’s unlikely to get far.
The government shutdown began because of a stalemate over border security funding on December 22.
There has appeared to be little progress to overcome it, despite regular meetings between both sides.
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House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey’s introduction of the short-term spending bill is merely the latest attempt to end the shutdown.
“We can and must do better, which is why House Democrats are bringing up our ninth piece of legislation to reopen the government and end the Trump shutdown,” Lowey said from the floor hours before the vote.
“The order of business should be simple, reopen the government, pay federal employees, and then negotiate on border security and immigration policy. It is long past time for my colleagues across the aisle and across the Capitol to come to their senses and end this shutdown.”
The Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act of 2019 would specifically provide temporary spending for the remaining parts of the government until February 28.
The idea is to stop the negative impact of the shutdown while leaving some time to debate border security until money runs out again.
Trump has long promised to build a security wall along the southern border and is fighting to get $5.7 billion to do just that.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have been at the forefront of opposing that plan. Schumer has only offered to provide $1.3 billion that can’t go toward the border wall.
Trump has repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to funding the border wall since the shutdown began.
He has threatened to veto spending bills that don’t include border wall funding. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he wouldn’t bring up any bills the president wouldn’t sign.
House Democrats have already made earlier attempts to end the shutdown. They passed two bills intended to fund most of the government along with a short-term bill to debate border security. They later passed four separate appropriations bills — but without border wall funding, they’re unlikely to get far with the veto threat looming.
Trump signed a bipartisan bill into law on Wednesday that would provide federal workers impacted by the shutdown with back pay. He has shown a willingness to sign bills related to the shutdown that don’t deal with spending.
Democrats also introduced a bill on Thursday intended to provide federal loans with zero percent interest to workers impacted by government shutdowns.
Congress was able to fund most of the government months earlier but was unable to pass the remaining spending bills.
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Lawmakers also had to pass a continuing resolution on December 7 to fund the federal government for two weeks to avoid a shutdown. An earlier spending bill also included a continuing resolution that extended the original deadline on September 30.
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