On Jan. 3, 2019, the 115th Congress gaveled to a close, and the newly composed 116th Congress, with the House under control of a Democrat majority and the Senate continuing under Republican control, convened.
Appropriations legislation was among the first considered, with the House passing a bill that would open government by extending six outstanding agency Appropriations (see H.R. 21 for text) through Sept. 30 and fund the Department of Homeland Security Appropriation separately through Feb. 8 (see H. J. Res 1 for text). The main reason for the bifurcated treatment is the president’s insistence on $5.6 billion in border security enhancements, including walls and wall structures in the DHS Appropriations.
The package of legislation passed the House, with several Republicans joining Democrats.
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that the Senate will not consider any legislation that does not have the president’s agreement and support. As the House package does not have the support of the president, it is believed that this House-passed package will remain in legislative limbo for the unknown future. Without Senate action and a presidential signature (or potential veto override), the shutdown will continue, and EB-5 and other critical programs will remain suspended.
Ongoing negotiations will continue through the weekend in an effort to reach a solution. Please check back, as this matter will be updated.
˘ Not admitted to the practice of law