Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced on the Senate floor Wednesday morning that he plans to later that day introduce a continuing resolution to fund the government through Feb. 8.
The continuing resolution would keep many agencies in the federal government funded at their current levels into the 2019 calendar year, while some agencies — such as the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies — have already received their full 2019 appropriations.
According to McConnell, the reason the Senate will be voting on a continuing resolution rather than full funding boiled down to a disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on funding for border security.
“Let’s review why this step was necessary. Even in the face of a great need to secure the border and following good-faith efforts by the president’s team, our Democratic colleagues rejected an extremely reasonable offer yesterday,” McConnell said.
“It would have cleared the remaining appropriation bills, which had received bipartisan support in committee, and provided an additional $1 billion to tackle a variety of urgent border security priorities.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Democrats plan to support the stopgap measure.
The continuing resolution, which McConnell said the Senate will vote on Wednesday, will have to pass both Senate and House to land on the president’s desk for signature by midnight on Dec. 21.
President Donald Trump initially indicated that he would not sign legislation that did not include $5 billion for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. But Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later walked back from that stance and said that the administration would look for other avenues to fund border wall construction.
Should the legislation pass, it would mark the third continuing resolution to fund parts of government for the 2019 fiscal year.
Jessie Bur covered the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees for Federal Times.