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Appropriations/Budget News

December 12, 2018

Dec. 12, 2018 Path forward after yesterday’s WH meeting


Path forward after yesterday’s WH meeting

Yesterday’s drama at the White House meeting with President Trump, and Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer has been covered extensively.

The question now is – where does Congress go from here and what will be the outcome?

A few takes from the media:

Bloomberg News quoted SAC SFOPS Chairman Lindsey Graham who welcomes the President’s push back:

“But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina urged Trump to stick to his guns and demand full funding of the border wall.

“‘I think it’s something to be resolved about,’ Graham said. ‘I am ready to do this, enough is enough.'”

The Hill predicted that the White House encounter moved Washington “closer to a partial government shutdown.”

The paper quoted SAC Chairman Richard Shelby and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – both of whom seem less certain that FY 19 can be resolved without a partial government shutdown:

“Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who advised Trump in a private meeting last month to avoid a shutdown over the border wall, was not pleased.

“‘I’ve never said that myself. I’m always trying to work to fund the government … I think it’s a step in that direction [of a shutdown], obviously, at least the rhetoric.'”

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed concern.

“‘I hope that’s not where we end up.’ – McConnell”

Politico Playbook ran through various resulting outcomes:

“– THE HOUSE is planning — at the moment — to take up a $5 billion wall funding bill. GOP leadership believes they’ll be able to get 218 on their own — Democrats are obviously not going to chip in to pass this. Republicans say rebuking NANCY PELOSI — who said the House can’t pass it — is enough to snap their crowd into action. We are a bit more skeptical they’ll be able to get this through. For example: 44 LAWMAKERS were out yesterday. Twenty of them are people who will not be returning next Congress. (Imagine the Republicans ending their eight-year majority by failing to pass this bill.)

“– IF THE HOUSE SOMEHOW manages to pass it, THE SENATE will then fail to get 60 votes on that bill, which could — in theory — reset this process by the end of this week.

“WE’RE A FEW FITS AND STARTS away from this process getting real.

“A SHUTDOWN REMAINS VERY LIKELY. It just doesn’t seem like a deal is in the works, or close to being thought about. And that brings us to this: How can Congress get out of this mess?

“… THE BASIC OFF-RAMP … It doesn’t seem as if the president is interested in any deal, and Democrats made clear their position yesterday. So the way out is: PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP folds and allows Congress to pass a stopgap with the current border security funding structure, which he has already touted as being effective. He could probably extract some concessions around the edges to help him sell it to himself and his base. He’ll blame Democrats and he could say he’s going to come back next year with a request for more border money.

“– CAN CONGRESS KEEP GOVERNMENT CLOSED FOR NEARLY TWO WEEKS? There are 13 days between the funding deadline and when Democrats take over the House. PELOSI could begin the 116th Congress by passing a stopgap to end a partial shutdown. At that point, it would fly through the Senate and Trump would have to sign it. There are plenty of Democrats and Republican who think this is the most likely scenario at this moment.”

$1.6 Billion VS $1.3B for the Trump Wall

We have been writing that the Senate has offered President Trump $1.6B for his wall because that was the figure the SAC appropriated in the FY 19 HS bill.

The media has been reporting the amount is $1.3B.  The Hill explains where the lower number came from:

“Senate Democratic Leader  Charles Schumer  (N.Y.) is backing off his earlier proposal to spend $1.6 billion on border fencing, acknowledging opposition from House Democrats.

“‘One point six we believe could not pass the House. The two options we made are the better options to go,’ he said, referring to the counter offers that he and House Democratic Leader  Nancy Pelosi  (Calif.) offered Trump at a meeting earlier Tuesday.”

” Schumer and Pelosi instead proposed passing a stopgap spending measure for the homeland security appropriations bill that would keep border fencing funding at $1.3 billion, the same amount that Congress appropriated for fiscal year 2018.”

Appropriator objects to Redskins in the omnibus

If there is to be a FY 19 omnibus bill for the 6 or 7 unfinished bills, House and Senate Interior Ranking Members will oppose using the legislation to help the Redskins get a new stadium.

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Dan Snyder, owner of the Redskins wants to use the omnibus to ensure he can build a new stadium on the old RFK stadium site.

Both Betty McCollum and Tom Udall who represent American Indians in their states spoke with the Washington Post:

“In an interview Monday, McCollum raised two objections – to the potential long-term private use of federal land without a thorough public process and to the team’s name, which she called a ‘racial slur.’

“‘That’s not something the federal government should be condoning, encouraging or be a part of,’ said McCollum, a co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus. ‘Is it because there are no tribes here that it’s okay – they really don’t exist; we can pretend that this doesn’t mean anything? It means a great deal to young Native American children, that means a great deal to Native American veterans. It means a great deal to me.’

“Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.), the ranking Democrat on the corresponding Senate Appropriations subcommittee, said Tuesday that he, too, would ‘fully oppose’ any effort to slip a stadium-related provision in the year-end bill.”


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