December 21, 2014

Partisan Divide Remains on Border Funding

  • Discretionary spending is the portion of the federal budget determined through the Congressional appropriations process. Approximately one-third of...

The House passed a $694 million measure Friday to help federal agencies cope with a surge of migrants from Central America but further partisan battles are likely in September, with Democrats seeking higher funding.

The bill would send additional money to the departments of Justice, Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services to improve border security and provide humanitarian relief. Republicans said they offset the additional immediate spending by reducing the agencies’ future budgets by the same amounts over several years.

After support for the House bill faltered on Thursday, Republican leaders gained more votes by adding $35 million more for National Guard deployment. Although the legislation would supplement Fiscal 2014 funding, the Congressional Budget Office says most of the money would not actually be disbursed until Fiscal 2015.

Senate Democrats oppose the House bill and President Obama has said he would veto it. Obama requested a $3.7 billion emergency spending package while Senate Democrats suggested $2.7 billion.