The odds of another partial government shutdown were raised yesterday after Democrats unveiled their initial border security proposal. The plan — which does not include funding for President Trump’s border wall priority — would allocate new funding for: (1) modernizing Border Patrol technology and infrastructure; (2) hiring 1,000 customs officers; and (3) “humanitarian” needs such as food and medical care. It’s a deal that the President is likely to reject, as he has reiterated he is willing to either shut down the government again, or bypass Congress and utilize military construction resources for the wall through a national emergency declaration.
Meanwhile, both chambers of Congress have wrapped up their legislative business for the week. The Senate will return to Washington on Monday, and resume consideration of a Middle East policy package (S.1) that would impose new sanctions on Syria, increase military aid to Israel and Jordan, and make it easier for states and municipalities to approve laws targeting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. House lawmakers will return on Tuesday, and have queued up a bill (H.R. 840) that would make permanent the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Child Care Pilot Program.