The House and Senate convened the 116th Congress today with no compromise in sight for funding the remaining federal agencies. President Trump invited congressional leadership to a border security briefing at the White House Wednesday but the meeting broke without an agreement. The president invited leaders to meet again on Friday but it is uncertain whether the meeting will take place.
The House, now under Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) leadership, moved today to address the partial government shutdown by bringing up two funding bills that reflect Democratic priorities. One is a minibus spending bill that funds the remaining agencies, except for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the end of the fiscal year.
The second bill is a continuing resolution (CR) that funds DHS through Feb. 8. It provides $1.3 billion for border security but no additional funds for Trump’s border wall. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said his chamber will not take up the legislation, calling it “political theater.”
Given the size of the federal budget, negotiators are not far apart on funding but both sides have drawn a line in the sand. Democrats refuse to provide more than $1.3 billion for border security, including funds to “enhance” existing fencing. Trump wants those funds plus an additional $4.3 billion for new fencing.
Updated: Thu, Jan 17th 2019 @ 5:20pm EST