The Senate approved a two-week government funding bill on Thursday, sending the measure to the White House and pushing a fight over the U.S.-Mexico border wall up against the holidays.
The Senate passed the continuing resolution (CR) by a voice vote hours after it was approved in the House. President Trump will need to sign it by the end of the day Friday in order to prevent a partial shutdown.
The resolution punts the funding deadline from Dec. 7 to Dec. 21, a week after Congress’s initial get-out-of-town date of Dec. 14.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said negotiators could solve the funding fight in “15 minutes” if they could get a deal on the wall funding.
Both sides have been stalemated for months on how much money to give the White House for the 2019 fiscal year.
The House included $5 billion for the border, including fencing and technology, in its Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bill, while the Senate included $1.6 billion.
Schumer argued that Republicans will be to blame if Trump has a “temper tantrum” and Congress is unable to meet the Dec. 21 deadline.
Our position has been clear from the beginning: Ds & Rs have a months-old agreement in the Senate. $1.6B for border security, NOT a concrete wall or increases in detention beds or ICE agents. We should stick to this agreement. If POTUS interferes, he is responsible for a shutdown
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 28, 2018
Schumer also downplayed that the Senate bill would include funding for the “wall”—something he’s taking heat over from progressive House Democrats, who are pressuring leadership to not lock them into an agreement right before they take back power in January.
Schumer also told reporters
“Let me be clear, the $1.6 billion cannot be used to construct any part of President Trump’s 30-foot tall concrete border wall,” he said. “It can only be used for fencing, using technology currently deployed at the border and only where the experts say fencing is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature.”