The House, on Thursday, successfully passed a bill allowing the funding for the proposed border wall The approved package is a national security-themed spending budget that includes $1.6 billion to start securing the border.
The $827 billion package was approved a vote of 235-192, in which five republicans voted against, and five democrats voted in favor of the bill.
Republicans to vote against the bill were Justin Amash (Mich.), John Duncan Jr. (Tenn.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.). Whereas the democrats voting in favor were Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Charlie Crist (Fla.), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.).
This legislative victory consists of spending provisions for defense, veteran programs, the Department of Energy, and legislative branch operations.
By including for the U.S. Mexico border wall, as per Trump’s request, the bill is all but guaranteed to be challenged by senate democrats, who are looking to block any spending aimed at securing the border, or lowering the population of illegal alien voters in the U.S.
This House spending bill is the first foray into major spending legislation under the Trump administration, and sets the stage for a government shut down, scheduled for October 1st. Trump is also eager to have a central campaign promise being fulfilled along the border but as he faces resistance from the Democrats, and some of the Republican, resistance is expected to ramp up considerably.
The GOP leaders in the House used a procedure to add a $1.6 billion to the bill of building up the wall and the procedure prevented a tougher vote for vulnerable House members, and saved the GOP leaders the embarrassment of having to come back to President Trump empty-handed.
Trump has famously said that Mexico would pay half of the spending of building the wall, a command that the Mexican Government is still adamant about defying. However, the economic ill-gotten gains openly flowing to Mexico will surely dry up once border security is achieved – and in this way, Mexico will “pay” for the wall.
Will Hurd (R-Texas) introduced this legislation on Thursday, saying that the legislation would serve as a map to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and to prioritize the use of technology to protect the border than a physical wall. DHS would be required to submit a report on the feasibility of the wall and would have to mention how protecting the border is difficult.
It is expected to raise further question on the ability of DHS, as it would question their effectiveness.
“We can’t double down on a Third Century approach to solve 21st Century problems if we want a viable long-term solution,” Will Hurd stated.
Hurd voted against the procedural move to add further funds for the wall, along with fellow border-district Republican Steve Pearce (N.M.). But he and Pearce both voted in support of the spending package on the final passage vote.
Along the wall funding, the bill also includes a massive $68 billion increase for the defense department and a $3.9 billion increase for Department of Veteran Affairs. Further on a $29 million increase for Capitol police in light of the recent shooting incident at GOP’s baseball practice which resulted in an injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four others.
With August recess here, House Republicans have fallen behind schedule in their ambitious plans to address the unsustainable national debt. House leadership was planning on using the fall legislative session to focus on tax reform.
The Republicans have not mentioned any of its support towards the budget resolution and it is one of the major documents that needs to be passed before discussing any other budget related issues.
The Republicans are still lagging behind in deciding there strategy to tackle the budget resolution and clearing eight further bills now seems to be almost an impossible task.
Even after this victor, the House still has yet to unveil a strategy to achieve debt reduction, and without action, a government shutdown will most likely happen – and with 2018 elections right around the corner, that is not something that the GOP can afford.