Spending bill language omits border wall funding, sanctuary cities crackdown

FOXNews

Republican and Democratic lawmakers forged a $1.07 trillion spending package that would fund the government through the end of September, but does not include some of President Trump’s cornerstone promises including funding for a border wall or funding cuts to sanctuary cities.

The proposed legislation has no funding for Trump’s oft-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but does set aside $1.5 billion for border security measures such as additional detention beds. It does give Trump a $12.5 billion down payment on his request to strengthen the military, a figure which could rise to $15 billion should Trump present Congress with a plan for fighting the Islamic State terror group. The proposed $15 billion amounts to half of Trump’s original $30 billion request.

Trump said at nearly every campaign stop last year that Mexico would pay for the proposed 2,000-mile border wall, a claim Mexican leaders have broadly rejected. The White House sought nearly $1.4 billion in taxpayer dollars for the wall and related costs in the spending bill, but Trump later relented and said the issue could wait until September.

With language about the border wall omitted, Democratic leaders praised the effort.

“The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren’t used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle class relies on, like medical research, education and infrastructure,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., echoed Schumer’s praise, saying in a separate statement “the omnibus does not fund President Trump’s immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force.”

The White House also backed away from language to take away grants from sanctuary cities that do not share information about people’s immigration status with federal authorities.

The House and Senate have until 11:59 p.m. Friday to approve the bill, which would avert a government shutdown. If passed, the catchall spending bill would be the first major piece of bipartisan legislation to advance during Trump’s short tenure in the White House. The measure is assured of winning bipartisan support in votes this week, but it’s unclear how much support the measure will receive from GOP conservatives and how warmly it will be received by the White House.

Democratic votes will be needed to pass the measure even though Republicans control both the White House and Congress. The minority party has been actively involved in the talks, which appear headed to produce a lowest common denominator measure that won’t look too much different than the deal that could have been struck on Obama’s watch last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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