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Infrastructure

 

On the other hand, plenty of money for projects like this-

Or maybe not so much.

Government Shutdown Odds Grow With GOP Border Wall Funding Bill
by Erik Wasson and Roxana Tiron, Bloomberg News
July 25, 2017

House Republicans this week are increasing the possibility of a government shutdown in October by moving forward with a $788 billion spending bill that complies with President Donald Trump’s demands to boost the military, reduce clean-energy programs and fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Those priorities, especially $1.6 billion in wall funding, guarantee House and Senate Democratic leaders will oppose the bill. Trump has urged his Republican supporters in Congress to fight, saying in May that a “good” shutdown may be needed to advance his agenda.

Republicans are trying to demonstrate unity after months of division over major legislation, including a repeal of Obamacare. Adding the wall funding is intended to attract enough conservative support to spare House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin an embarrassing defeat on the House floor. The Trump administration said it strongly supports the measure, H.R. 3219.

But if an agreement can’t be reached with the Senate, Republicans run the risk of turning off voters with a government shutdown ahead of next year’s congressional elections. Four years ago, Republicans tried and failed to use a government shutdown to end Obamacare, resulting in a deep dip in the polls for the party that GOP leaders don’t want to repeat.

The House measure “isn’t going to go anywhere” in the Senate, said Vermont’s Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations panel.

Democrats are demanding that Republicans negotiate a bipartisan deal that combines defense increases with more money for domestic agencies such as the departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce and Education. They argue Republicans are trying to distract from the GOP’s halting efforts to repeal Obamacare or agree on a tax overhaul.

Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona said he could have supported the GOP bill without the wall funding. “Nobody likes to be held hostage,” he said in an interview. “There is a risk of a shutdown and it is going to be entirely led by the Republicans and the president.”

With a recess in August and just three House working weeks in September, there’s little time for lawmakers to complete their work on the spending measure. If they don’t, leaders likely would resort to a stopgap spending bill that maintains current funding levels to keep the government operating after Oct. 1. Trump hasn’t said whether he’d sign such a measure that doesn’t include new money for the wall.

Debate is set to start Wednesday on the House floor on a package of four of the 12 spending bills needed to keep the government open after Oct. 1. The bill would fund the departments of Defense, Energy and Veterans Affairs, along with the Army Corps of Engineers and the legislative branch. The $1.6 billion for the wall is being added to the measure in an effort to attract conservative votes.

1 comment

  1. ek hornbeck

    Vent Hole

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