WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House are putting off spending bill decisions until later this month that are necessary to avoid a partial government shutdown partly because of the death of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
The new deadline was expected to be on Friday, Dec. 21.
“Pushing into Christmas puts added pressure on senators and House members to compromise,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capitol (R-W.Va.).
She was a guest on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
“It’s essential that we get better and bigger border security when you see the numbers just escalating of the number of people that are coming across illegally.”
The deadline applies to seven spending bills, including funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which were previously scheduled to expire at 12:01 a.m. this Saturday.
Among the agencies awaiting budget finalization were the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Justice, NASA, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Already, Congress has taken steps to fund the U.S. Department of Defense and other agencies accounting for an estimated 75 percent of all federal government operations until Oct. 2019.
What happens with the remaining spending measures may hinge on border security.
Congressional Democrats have not been supportive of the $5 billion in funding for border security, like a wall at the Mexico border, that President Donald Trump proposed.
Thus far, Senate Democrats have agreed to $1.6 billion.
“We’re going to push for more because that’s what the President wants but, at the end of the day, we have to have a bipartisan solution to this,” Capito said.
“We’re trying to get to $5 billion.”
There is a proposal for $5 billion over two years but, Capito said Thursday, is was not clear if President Trump and U.S. Senate Democrats would accept that.
Next Tuesday, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) are scheduled to meet with President Trump at the White House.