16 billion down payment to start building the wall
The House on Thursday completed its work on the annual appropriations bills for 2018, ahead of expected negotiations at the end of this year to keep the government funded.
By a vote of 211-198, the House passed a $1.2 trillion package of spending bills to fund wide swaths of the federal government, ranging from the Department of Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The passage of all 12 of the annual appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year is a first for Republicans who have not been able to move them all in the same time frame in recent years.
Together, the bills appropriate $621.5 billion for defense spending and $511 billion for nondefense discretionary spending. It also devotes another $87 billion in Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) funding, which does not count toward budget cuts. Of that, $75 billion went to defense, $12 billion to nondefense.
Lawmakers passed a national security-themed spending package in July comprised of the other four annual appropriations bills. It included a $1.6 billion down payment to begin construction on a U.S.-Mexico border wall, a top priority for President Trump. Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall, a suggestion rejected by the Mexican government.
Despite the hours spent by the House to complete work on the individual spending bills, none of the measures are expected to get consideration in the Senate due to the threat of a Democratic filibuster.
The Senate remains significantly behind the House in its appropriations process, having passed none of its spending bills and only 10 of the 12 are through the full appropriations committee. Neither chamber has approved a budget resolution, though the House did pass one through committee, and the two chambers are working off different top-line numbers.