WASHINGTON — The House voted Wednesday to pass an appropriations bill that would fund closed federal agencies but provide no money for the $5.7 billion border wall that President Donald Trump demanded in return for signing legislation to end the partial government shutdown.
“This bill represents a lot of hard work,” said Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky. However, he doubted the bill would make it through the Republican-controlled Senate in the coming weeks. “I fear that it has no chance to become law though without a compromise on border security,” he said.
House Democrats argued Wednesday that the bill under consideration emerged from bipartisan negotiations late last year and included effective border security increases.
“Neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the Committee on Appropriations, in a press release earlier Wednesday. “But we compromised for the betterment of the United States.”
Republicans disagreed, arguing the proposal lacked compromise as well requirements made clear by Trump in his shutdown negotiations.
“This is incredibly incomplete,” said Rogers. “We are trying to solve a puzzle and right in the middle is a glaring missing piece.”
Since the government has been shut down, Democrats have introduced various appropriations bills to Congress but none with funding for a border wall. Some bills include increased border protections in an attempt at compromise.
“Shutting down the government of the United States is stupid, irresponsible and dangerous,”
said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “We have offered nine, 10, 11 alternative bills… but sadly, you won’t take yes for an answer.”
Republicans who displayed a track record of voting in alignment with Trump were also targeted by Hoyer. “Open up the government,” he said. “Your constituents didn’t send you here to serve The President. They sent you here to serve them.”
Despite House approval of the bill, “this is nothing more than theater here today…,” said Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., who criticized earlier legislative efforts. “And if this is theater, it is nothing more than a re-run.”