The House passed a spending bill that includes $5.7 billion in border wall funding, sending the bill to the Senate.
The House passed the spending bill with border wall funding, 217-185, featuring strong Republican support for the bill and no Democrat support for the bill.
The House started a renewed effort to push for $5.7 billion in wall funding after President Donald Trump declared on Thursday that he will not sign a bill that does not include border security funding. Trump also threatened to veto any legislation that comes before him without security funding. The revised funding bill also includes $7.8 billion in disaster relief.
“I’ve made my position very clear,” Trump said. “Any measure that funds the government must include border security.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) cheered the bill’s passage in a statement on Thursday, saying, “Tonight the House passed a Continuing Resolution to keep the government open, secure our borders, and provide relief to communities harmed by natural disasters.”
“Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats now have to decide whether it is worth shutting down the government to keep us from securing our border,” McCarthy added.
The House Freedom Caucus, who led the charge for border wall funding, released a statement on Thursday, contending that the Senate must now pass the spending bill with border wall funding.
The Freedom Caucus said:
Republicans in Congress have continually told the American people that we would fight for wall funding, and today the House of Representatives took its first step toward fulfilling that promise. The Senate must follow our lead. It’s time we do what we said and work with President Trump and the American people to secure our borders.
The House Freedom Caucus led a special order on Wednesday night, urging the president to fight for border security funding. The House conservatives also offered an amendment to the bill that would include $5 billion in border wall funding as well as closing the “catch and release” loophole. Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said that House conservatives will back him if he vetoes any legislation without border security funding.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) told Breitbart News on Thursday that Democrats should remain cautious in a border wall funding fight because Trump is a skilled negotiator who does not “blink very often” in a fight.
Meadows also said that he came away with the impression that Trump will not relent on his fight for border security funding, even though Democrats will likely reject the measure in the Senate.
Mark Meadows told me that – after the WH meeting – he come away with the impression that Trump won’t cave – even after the Senate very likely rejects the bill now before the House.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 21, 2018
Rep. Meadows just said that he filed a measure to ensure that no member of Congress gets paid in the event of a government shutdown.
Just submitted this letter to the CAO, in advance of the government funding deadline. Members of Congress shouldn't be paid when the government isn't open.
If there is a shutdown, I will not be accepting any of my salary for as long as it lasts. pic.twitter.com/ltH2LAr9yg
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) December 21, 2018
Rep. Perry said that Senate Democrats will face a tough time explaining why they will not vote for funding a border wall.
“Nine Democrats are going to explain to their constituents, their bosses, why they would rather shut down the government than stop the flow of illegal immigrants, human trafficking, and fentanyl and opioids,” Perry said. “If they can make that case to their constituents, God bless them.”
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have said in the past that they would support partially funding a border wall. Senate Republicans control 51 votes in Congress’s upper chamber, meaning that if these three Senate Democrats vote for the wall, Trump would only need six more Democrat votes to secure his border wall funding.
Perry said, “I think once we have that conservation they’re going to be in a very tenuous situation. We’re not going to know until we force that conversation.”
Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) told Breitbart News that House Republicans have never been more united than right now to fight for border security funding.
“I don’t believe in four years I’ve seen our conference more unified than today, they’re saying let’s stand and fight,” Hice said.