Lawmakers will take their first legislative step this week toward avoiding a looming partial government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, CQ reports.
The House plans to vote on a continuing resolution (CR) that would extend fiscal 2019 funding levels through Nov. 21, but the legislation written by the Democratic majority includes significant differences that will likely require resolution with the White House and the GOP-led Senate, according to the report.
Major differences include whether to free up already appropriated foreign aid, the White House request to provide more trade war subsidies to farmers, more funding for NASA’s moon program, and authorization for southern border barrier construction beyond the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
The contentious border issue led to cancellation of the Senate’s Military Construction-VA markup this week after subcommittee Chairman John Boozman (R-Ark.) said the bill would include $3.6 billion to replace MilCon funding being diverted from projects to finance a border barrier construction. Democrats have opposed replacing MilCon funds objecting it would amount to authorization of the reprogramming moves, Roll Call reported.
While there is no funding in the VA-MilCon bill specifically allocated for border barrier construction, backfilling the transferred funds is viewed by Democrats as implied acceptance of more funding for the effort, though it is not apparent where the money would originate from, according to the report.