A Republican Bill That Would Fund the Border Wall Just Passed the House

Congress is facing a potential government shutdown.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

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Update (12/20/2018, 8:01 p.m. ET): The House voted 217 to 185 to send a government funding bill to the Senate that includes $5 billion in funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border. The Senate is expected to reject the measure.

Update (12/20/2018, 3:39 p.m. ET): In an afternoon session, the House voted 187-170 along party lines to reject a resolution from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that would allow Congress to fund the government and prevent an imminent shutdown. The Rules Committee is now expected to meet later today, where House Republicans will attempt to add the $5 billion in funding sought by the president to build a border wall with Mexico.

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters that President Donald Trump has said he “will not sign” the spending bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday to avert a looming government shutdown.

Less than 24 hours ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reached an agreement with Democrats to fund the government through February 8 that did not include money for the proposed “border wall” with Mexico, one of Trump’s most contentious infrastructure plans. According to Ryan, Trump and House Republicans are now working to get funding for the wall added to a bill by Friday night. If lawmakers do not meet the Friday deadline, the government will shut down. According to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the president said the Senate compromise was “just kicking a can down the road.”

Following the meeting, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted, “We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall,” but did not explicitly address whether the president would sign legislation that does not include that funding.

“When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership. Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries – but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!” the president tweeted Thursday morning.

The border wall, which is estimated to cost $5 billion, was one of the president’s main campaign promises, and his failure to deliver has invoked the wrath of some conservative supporters. Some proponents of the wall have gone as far as launching a GoFundMe for the project, which has so far raised nearly $6 million.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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