GOP Funding Bill Also Includes $25 Million for TMF

The “End The Shutdown And Secure The Border Act,” touted by President Trump as a “commonsense compromise” funding bill to end the partial federal government shutdown and set to be introduced in the Senate, includes $25 million in FY 2019 funding for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) – mirroring the funding level set in H.R. 648, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, set to be considered in the House this week.

The Senate bill, unveiled by President Trump on Saturday and set to be introduced in the Senate today, would provide $25 million for TMF. That level of funding is as-expected, as a House-Senate conference report set TMF funding levels at $25 million.

While the funding bills to be considered by the House and Senate differ on appropriations for border security and immigration policy, proposals for remaining budget items are the same because they are based on the conference report which is the product of weeks of negotiations between the two legislative bodies.

In the bigger picture of efforts to end the shutdown, however, the House and Senate bills may not end up producing any final agreement.

The main sticking point of the Senate bill is likely to be the $5.7 billion included for physical barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border, which Democrats have consistently rejected.

In an attempt to overcome Democratic objections, President Trump included measures to extend protections for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) immigrants “in order to build the trust and goodwill necessary to begin real immigration reform,” he said. The bill also includes $805 million for drug detection technology at ports of entry, $800 million for “urgent humanitarian assistance,” and funding for an additional 2,750 law enforcement professionals.

Senate Republicans indicated their support for the bill.

“The situation for furloughed employees isn’t getting any brighter and the crisis at the border isn’t improved by show votes. But the President’s plan is a path toward addressing both issues quickly,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Cali., indicated that House Democrats would not support the bill, likely leaving the shutdown at a standstill.

“Unfortunately, initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives,” she noted.

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