Congressmen from both parties have finalized a plan to end a government deal later this month on President Trump's demands to fund a border wall and postpone this fight until after the midterm elections in November.
Announced Thursday by Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the bipartisan pact reflects republican leaders' desire to avoid a nasty strike-out match weeks before the midterm elections – even if it means sacrificing one victim for now from Trump.
House GOP Leaders say they believe the White House is on board with their approach, but no one can be sure what Trump will ultimately do. GOP leaders urged Trump to suppress the rhetoric on the closure of the government, but he wavered, suggesting it would be a good policy to force a shutdown on October 1 to get the money he needed for his wall wants.
While the announcement on Thursday reduced the chances of a shutdown, Midterm Politics or the Freedom Caucus, a group of very conservative members allied with Trump, could always throw a curveball.
"The President must sign the bill or close the government," said MP Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) At a session of the Senate House Senate Conference Committee that signed the deal.
Government funding expires on September 30. Congress is working to send Trump a set of spending-spending bills by 2019, including key actions to fund the Pentagon and the Health and Human Services Department. The house was planning to adopt a three billion package on Thursday to finance the Veterans Affairs Department and other agencies, and sent it to Trump for signature.
But the remaining bills will be dealt with after the election. This includes expenses for the Homeland Security Department, which pays for the wall.
Frelinghuysen announced that these agencies will be funded by autopilot on a short-term spending bill running until 7 December. The so-called continuing resolution will be accompanied by an Expenditure Act envisaging huge Pentagon budget increases for 2019 – a key priority for Republicans and Trumps – and large gains for the Department of Health and Human Services, a democratic goal.
This facility aims to smear the passage through the House of Representatives and the Senate – and to enable Trump to gain military funding.
The Republicans insisted that they still support the financing of the border wall, as Trump wishes, but it makes no sense to argue about it before the midterm elections. The House Appropriations Committee has provided $ 5 billion for the Wall by 2019 – the number Trump wants – but the Senate Appropriations Committee only provides $ 1.6 billion. Democrats of the Senate have shown no interest in leaving the house with the higher number, and Democrats have the ability to block spending bills requiring bipartisan Senate votes.
"It does not make much sense to stop the government, and we will fight this fight when it comes, but it's not the time," said MEP Tom Cole (R-Okla). a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. "I do not expect to speak for the President, but our leadership tells us that they are in constant communication with the administration and that we are proceeding according to plan, so I suppose that's the case."
Frelinghuysen announced at the beginning of the conference committee, "The CR Term will run until December 7, 2018, so we have time to complete our work on the remaining bills – as we intend."
The deal could also cement another setback for deficient hawks, as it would continue the trump era tradition of increasing spending in the hope of supporting both parties. Trump had campaigned with a promise to lower spending, but since last year he has been rising steadily.