The House came back into session this week after a long five-week break. The first thing on their agenda is to fund the government before the September 30th deadline. Since they have already passed 7 of the 12 bills needed to do so, and the Senate has passed 9 of the 12 bills, you would think that this would be a task they could accomplish. However, House leadership has decided to punt their responsibilities until after the November elections.
The House has confirmed their conferees for the spending bills of the Department of Defense, Education, and Labor, Health and Human Services. While the Senate passed these bills together, the House has not yet passed a Labor-HHS bill. They are considering forgoing the process altogether and siding with the Senate. This is a major problem seeing that the Senate version still funds Planned Parenthood. House Republicans will be forced to vote for an anti-life measure in order to fund the military. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) was very candid about this procedure by stating, “I’m not in favor of attaching Labor-HHS to defense. Any time you do that, you’re using our military men and women as leverage in a way that’s not appropriate.”
One of the big issues that both House and Senate leadership is ignoring is border security. No funding for the border wall has been allocated yet. The Department of Homeland Security spending bill was marked up in committee at the end of July, however, Republicans allowed and even introduced policies that undermine the President’s agenda on immigration. It is now riddled with measures that block the Trump Administration from cracking down on asylum seekers, raise the number of family-based green card allowances, and increase the number and length of stay for visa workers.
A likely outcome of the appropriations fight may be the passage of a continuing resolution (CR). House leadership met with President Trump this week to sort out these details. A CR would only continue the same terrible policies that were passed in the Omnibus earlier this year. This would not give voters much hope going into the November elections.
Eagle Forum urges Congress to pass responsible fiscal bills that protect families and encourage economic growth. Anything less would be a disappointment.
D.C. Executive Director, Eagle Forum