A partial federal government shutdown will happen Friday if lawmakers fail to resolve an impasse — and Republican Senator Joni Ernst says it’s unclear what may happen this week.
“Most of the government — the larger, lion’s share of the government — is currently funded. We were able to get a number of appropriations bills done this year, on time. That was very good,” Ernst says. “We still have a number yet to be funded.”
The sticking point in negotiations has been President Trump’s demand that congress provide $5 billion for construction of a wall along the southern border. A White House spokeswoman today said the Trump Administration has found other ways to get that money.
“We hope we don’t face a shutdown,” Ernst says. “I hope that we can work through that.”
Democratic leaders in congress have repeatedly said there are not enough votes in the House or Senate to fund the wall. Ernst, who is now part of the Republican leadership team in the U.S. Senate, says that doesn’t make sense.
“The Democrats in 2013, many of them voted for $8 billion of funding for a wall on our southern border,” Ernst said. “The president today is asking for $5 billion. So if they were willing ot support $8 billion five years ago, what’s changed? I guess I don’t understand that.”
That 2013 bill was the immigration reform package that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. It included a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who entered the country illegally as well as $8 billion for enhanced border security. The U.S. House did not take a vote on the package.