Some of President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies in the House of Representatives introduced a continuing resolution on Wednesday as an alternative to the “bad border deal” that will prevent another government shutdown.
The House Freedom Caucus created the short-term funding bill – to keep funding at current levels for one week – as an alternative to a government funding bill that a bipartisan conference committee has spent several weeks crafting. The measure was introduced by Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, who expressed frustration that the current legislation “ignores input from experts on our southern border.” The one-week time frame would be aimed at providing “time to negotiate more effective border security,” Biggs said.
“The conference report is projected to be thousands of pages long and was negotiated behind closed doors,” said the caucus chairman Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, in a statement. “We believe that Members should be given enough time to read it before voting on it.” He added that members deserve to know if a “better deal” can be struck.
Earlier this week the lawmakers behind the bipartisan negotiations unveiled a compromise that would fund the Department of Homeland Security with $1.375 billion for barrier funding that will cover roughly 55 miles of new barrier, but with restrictions on the kind of barriers that could be. That figure is also far below the more than $5 billion Trump demanded late last year, which prompted the longest shutdown in US history.
According to two sources who have spoken directly with the President, Trump intends to sign the border security deal to avoid another partial government shutdown should it reach his desk after passing Congress.
Meadows and other House Freedom Caucus members have publicly projected their dissatisfaction with the agreement.
Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and another vocal member of the group, tweeted on Monday that Congress had put together a “bad deal on immigration.” Several members of the conservative caucus met with President Trump last week about border funding.
CNN’s Dana Bash and Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.