Republicans in the Senate have included $5 billion for a border barrier in a spending bill for the next fiscal year. The version of this bill currently in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has, predictably, not included this allotment, which could leave the two sides poised for yet another government shutdown.
Here's what we know
The new Senate bill would set aside $5 billion for the border wall under $71 billion destined for the Department of Homeland Security. This would reportedly be enough to construct 200 miles worth of barrier at the southern border. It has already been approved by the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.
"This appropriations bill includes @POTUS' request for $5 billion for a border wall system," subcommittee Chair Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said in a tweet Tuesday. "This is not just the request of POTUS. This is what the professionals on the ground have told our committee they need in order to do their jobs to the best of their ability."
This appropriations bill includes @POTUS’ request for $5 billion for a border wall system. This is not just the req… https://t.co/LX901dXMHH— Shelley Moore Capito (@Shelley Moore Capito) 1569335843.0
In another tweet, she said that the bill "does not fund border security at the expense of the Department's other critical missions."
https://t.co/RRZCe3iDaq— Shelley Moore Capito (@Shelley Moore Capito) 1569335965.0
Now that this bill is out of the subcommittee, it will have to pass the entire Appropriations Committee, then the Senate without being hit by a Democratic filibuster. Even then, the Democrat-controlled House is unlikely to agree to pass it.
What happened last time?
In late November, Trump told Congress that he would be willing to shut down the government unless he got $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall. The Republican-controlled Senate was willing to comply, but the House needed Democratic votes in order to pass its bill and Republicans were unable to obtain them.
The result was the longest shutdown in U.S. government history. It dragged into the new year, when control of the House flipped to the Democrats, making passage of this funding even less likely this year.
In February, Trump agreed to sign a spending bill that contained $1.4 billion for 55 miles of border fencing. He then declared a national emergency in order to reallocate funds for the wall without going through Congress.