The House will vote next week on a small bundle of government spending bills focused on the nation's security, which will include funding for President Trump's planned wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
House Republicans were unable to reach consensus on a full omnibus encompassing all 12 spending bills so instead, they plan to vote on four, which would fund the Pentagon, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Energy and the legislative branch.
While the Homeland Security bill isn't attached, House Republicans plan to add an amendment stemming from the measure that would provide money for the wall. The funding for physical barrier construction along the southern border meets the White House's 2018 request at $1.57 billion, which includes $784 million for 32 miles of new border fencing in the Rio Grande Valley, $498 million for 28 miles of new levee wall in that region, $251 million for 14 miles of secondary fencing in San Diego and $38 million for program planning and development.
The GOP-led House Appropriations Committee advanced the DHS spending bill with those provisions earlier this week, but Democrats are opposed to any wall funding. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-California, the ranking member on the Appropriations DHS subcommittee, blasted the GOP's move to tie the wall funding to the spending package on Wednesday.
"It is unconscionable to tie frivolous wall funding to this minibus bill that helps protect our country and support our servicemembers," she said in a statement. "The fact that Senate Democrats have indicated any money for a wall is a non-starter demonstrates that this purely a political play by the House GOP. The majority shouldn't focus on devising political tricks, or on pressing for this unneeded wall spending."
Even if this package passes the House next week, Republicans likely know that this is merely a messaging strategy because it will never pass the Senate. Spending bills are subject to a 60-vote hurdle in the upper chamber, which means Republicans ultimately have to rely on Democratic votes to fund the government.
Experts expectand then pass a government-wide spending package. Congress will have to pass a new spending bill by the end of September or the government will shut down on Oct. 1.