Congress Set to Fund Government, But Not Trump's Wall - NBC Connecticut
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Congress Set to Fund Government, But Not Trump's Wall

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insists there is "zero" chance of a shutdown and says a battle over the border wall should wait until after votes are cast in November

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Congress Set to Fund Government, But Not Trump's Wall
    J. Scott Applewhite/AP, File
    In this June 20, 2017, file photo, the U.S. Capitol in Washington at sunrise. Congress is set to pass a crucial spending bill that averts a government shutdown.

    Congress is set to pass a crucial spending bill that averts a government shutdown, but there's one potential obstacle: President Donald Trump.

    Neither party wants the government to close ahead of the midterm elections that will determine control of Congress, but Trump has made clear his frustration at the lack of money for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He says it is "ridiculous" the wall has yet to be fully funded.

    With less than a week before a Sept. 30 deadline for a partial shutdown, Republican leaders hope they can get Trump to set aside his frustration about the wall and sign legislation that funds the military and a host of civilian agencies for the next year. The bill also would provide a short-term fix to keep the government running through Dec. 7.

    The Senate easily approved the measure last week, with only seven senators voting no.

    Shutdown, Russia Woes Grow for Trump

    [NATL] Shutdown, Russia Woes Grow for Trump

    President Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi amid the ongoing government shutdown and more troubling revelations about the 2016 election. NBC's Tracie Potts reports.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    The vote in the House is expected to be closer, with House conservatives voicing displeasure that money is included for Planned Parenthood but not the wall.

    "You want to stanch a blue wave" of Democrats in the midterms? asked Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. "Then keep your promises — and one of those promises is to build the wall."

    Trump himself raised the possibility last week that he may not sign the measure unless wall funding is included.

    "Where is the money for border security and the wall in this ridiculous spending bill?" Trump said Thursday on Twitter. Republicans "must finally get tough" against Democrats he said are obstructing law enforcement and border security, he added.

    But it seems only Trump can stop the spending legislation from becoming law. Biggs and other conservatives admit they don't have the numbers to defeat the spending bill in the House, given that leaders from both parties support the legislation.

    "I expect it to pass. The votes are going to be there," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee who is among the best vote counters in the Capitol.

    More Migrant Families Separated Than Initially Reported

    [NATL] More Migrant Families Separated Than Initially Reported

    Thousands more migrant families may have been separated than the government initially reported, a watchdog group said, possibly due to ongoing problems keeping track of children.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    "There's substantial support" for the bill in both parties, Cole said. He emphasized that the measure increases defense spending — including the largest pay raise for the military in nearly a decade — and boosts funding for a range of domestic programs, including a 5 percent increase for the National Institute of Health, a priority of both parties.

    "I think we're in pretty good shape," he said.

    Still, many conservatives are unhappy.

    "This bill funds things we said we wouldn't, like Planned Parenthood, but doesn't fund things we said we would, like the border security wall. That's unacceptable," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a leader of the conservative wing of the GOP who has made himself a candidate to lead House Republicans after the midterm elections.

    "Republicans need to actually do what we said," Jordan said.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., defended the bill, saying it fully funds the military while providing "historic" spending to fight the opioid epidemic, which takes the lives of more than 100 people in the U.S. every day.

    ICE Detains Marine Veteran

    [NATL] ICE Detains Marine Veteran, Says No Investigation

    Family members are furious that a U.S. citizen and military veteran ended up in an immigration detention center facing the threat of deportation. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez was born and raised in Grand Rapids. His mother says he served a tour in Afghanistan while in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    "These are top priorities for the country, and we are ready to get this bill into law soon," Ryan said last week.

    Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP lawmakers met with Trump earlier this month to plot strategy and urge the president not to force a shutdown.

    Trump's stance has zigzagged. At times he has said he won't allow a shutdown before the midterm elections. At other times, he's mused that closing the government may be good for him politically.

    "If it happens, it happens. If it's about border security, I'm willing to do anything," Trump said during a meeting with top Republican lawmakers this month.

    McConnell insists there is "zero" chance of a shutdown and says a battle over the border wall should wait until after votes are cast in November.

    Ryan, for his part, said GOP leaders "have a very good understanding with the president that we want to get our appropriations done. I'm confident our understanding will stick."

    Trump Discusses New US Missile Defense Strategy

    [NATL] Trump Discusses New US Missile Defense Strategy

    President Donald Trump discussed his plans for a revamped missile defense strategy during a speech at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)