The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would fund most of the federal government through early February, and it provides $5.7 billion for President Trump’s long-promised border wall. This move significantly increases the chances of a partial government shutdown later this week.
There were a total of eight Republicans who joined all 177 voting Democrats to oppose the measure, which passed 217-185. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is certain to fall short of the 60 votes needed for passage since the chamber’s 49 Democrats are against funding the wall. So it is now likely that parts of the federal government, including nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, will cease operations at midnight Friday.
The vote came hours after Trump declared to the House GOP leaders that he would not enact a Senate-passed package that does not provide money for the barrier.
Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus said in a statement: “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.” They have stood strong in their challenge to the president to maintain his position on the border wall.
Trump congratulated Republican House members in a tweet late Thursday, saying he was “so proud of you all.”
“Thank you to our GREAT Republican Members of Congress for your VOTE to fund Border Security and the Wall,” he wrote. “The final numbers were 217-185 and many have said that the enthusiasm was greater than they have ever seen before … Now on to the Senate!”
In a later tweet, Trump took a shot at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who he said had claimed that “Republicans didn’t have the votes for Border Security.”
“Nancy does not have to apologize,” Trump said. “All I want is GREAT BORDER SECURITY!”
After meeting with Trump at the White House earlier on Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters that Trump said he would not sign the measure out of “legitimate concerns for border security.”
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Trump had “gotten word” to him that he would either be “getting funding to the border or he’s shutting the whole thing down.” A day earlier, Limbaugh complained that it appeared “Trump gets nothing and the Democrats get everything, including control of the House.”
“I am asking Congress to defend the border of our nation,” Trump said. “Walls work, whether we like it or not.”