1/3 of the federal government workforce has been shutdown since December 22, 2018, putting funding for nine federal departments on hold. The funding package passed today by the U.S. House would address this lapse in funding by providing critical resources for national security, agriculture, economic and rural development, and affordable housing programs and their employees. Additionally, the package includes bipartisan legislation helped introduce to retroactively pay federal employees impacted by the shutdown.
The largely party-line votes came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room pledging to keep up the fight for his signature campaign promise.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump and Senate Republicans should “take yes for an answer” and approve the border bill, which was virtually identical to a plan the Senate adopted on a voice vote last month.
“Over the past two weeks, the government shutdown has recklessly harmed our economy, threatened our national security, and kept vital federal workers at home or working without pay,” said Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. “Today, I joined my colleagues in passing legislation that addresses our country’s immediate budgetary needs and funds agencies vital to our security such as the FBI, TSA, and CBP. While this legislation is a necessary first step towards fully reopening our government, it is only a temporary fix and we—both Congress and the American people—cannot continue to view short-term funding bills and shutdowns as acceptable methods of managing our nation’s finances. It is inefficient, chaotic, and damaging. In the future, Congress must do its job and pass real budgets, plan for our nation’s financial future, and never use the federal workforce or the proper functioning of government services as a bargaining chip.”
Congressional leaders from both parties met with Trump at the White House Wednesday, but failed to make progress during their first sit-down in weeks. The White House has invited the leaders back Friday for another round of talks that they believe might be more productive now that Pelosi has been sworn in to the Speaker position.
“The Shutdown is only because of the 2020 Presidential Election. The Democrats know they can’t win based on all of the achievements of “Trump,” so they are going all out on the desperately needed Wall and Border Security – and Presidential Harassment. For them, strictly politics!” Trump posted on Twitter on Thursday.
Vice President Mike Pence, who was on the Hill Thursday to swear in new senators, went on Fox News to reiterate the position of the White House telling Tucker Carlson, “Bottom line, if there’s no wall, there’s no deal.”
Trump has bot been shy about his opinion on the shutdown, saying it will last “as long as it takes” to get the funding he wants.