Senate Republicans Can End the Trump Shutdown. They Just Have To Support Their Own Appropriations Bills

January 4, 2019

Later today, the House will pass two separate bills that would end the Trump shutdown. This appropriations legislation is not partisan – in fact, they contain bills that already had bipartisan support in the Senate last year. As Leader Schumer said on the Senate floor earlier today, “At this point, we need to take the lead here in Congress in the hopes that we can show President Trump the light of reason. We’ve given our Republican colleagues a way out of the shutdown based on Republican-approved proposals. All Leader McConnell needs to do to reopen the government is bring to the floor legislation that he – and nearly every other Republican Senator – already supports.”

What will the House vote on today?

The House will vote on two bills:

  1. The first is a bill consisting of six bipartisan appropriations bills passed by the Senate or the Senate Appropriations Committee in the last year. Note: these bills are the same bills the Senate or the Senate Appropriations committee passed in the last year.
  1. The second is a continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through February 8, 2019. Note: This is the same funding bill for DHS the Senate passed by voice vote on December 19, 2018.

Which Senate Republicans wrote and supported these bills in the past?

  1. Six Non-DHS Appropriations Bills:
  1. Agriculture, Financial Services and General Government, Interior-Environment, and Transportation-HUD:

                                                     i.      On August 1, 2018, a minibus appropriations bill containing the Agriculture, Financial Services and General Government, Interior-Environment, and Transportation-HUD appropriations bills passed the full Senate by a vote of 92-6. These bills are identical to the measure that will be passed by the House today.

                                                    ii.      Supported on the Senate Floor by 92 Senators including Republican Senators Alexander, Barrasso, Blunt, Boozman, Burr, Capito, Cassidy, Collins, Cornyn, Cotton, Crapo, Daines, Enzi, Ernst, Fischer, Gardner, Graham, Grassley, Hoeven, Hyde-Smith, Inhofe, Isakson, Kennedy, Lankford, McConnell, Moran, Murkowski, Perdue, Portman, Risch, Roberts, Rounds, Rubio, Scott, Shelby, Sullivan, Thune, Tillis, Wicker, and Young. [115th Congress, 2nd Session, Roll Call Vote 180, 8/1/18]

                                                  iii.      Senate Republicans, including Leader McConnell, praised the minibus and the individual appropriations bills:

1.       Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “They allocate funds for a variety of pressing needs in communities around the country, and they represent four more steps toward the goal this Senate has set to fund the government through regular appropriations and to steer clear of another omnibus.” [Floor Remarks, 8/1/18]

2.       Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL): “I want to say again that what we have been doing here, working together in a bipartisan way, is something that Senator Schumer and Senator McConnell were talking about hadn't been done basically in 30 years. We are on the right track. We want to stay there. I have said many times to both parties: It is in our interests. The American people expect it. Let's keep working together. Madam President, before we vote, I want to thank my colleagues for their cooperation in moving this package. In particular, I want to thank leaders McConnell and Schumer for bringing these bills to the floor and Vice Chairman Leahy for his continued partnership throughout the appropriations process.” [Floor Remarks, 8/1/18]

3.       Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL):  “’Following strong bipartisan momentum to return to regular order, the Senate has passed a second package of appropriations measures with overwhelming support,’ said Chairman Shelby.  ‘The funding provided by these bills will help to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, fight against opioid abuse, make important investments in American agriculture, and promote and support the growth of our economy.’ ‘I hope my colleagues are encouraged by what’s happening here, by what we are accomplishing together.  Moving these bills in this way is the right thing to do – not only for this institution, but for our country; for the American people.’” [Press Release, 8/1/18]

4.       Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND):  “‘We worked hard to craft a strong agriculture funding bill that provides our farmers and ranchers with the resources they need to overcome the challenges they face in farm country,’ said Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.  ‘This bill makes responsible investments in farm service programs, agricultural research and rural development programs to reaffirm our commitment to growing rural America.’” [Press Release, 5/24/18]

5.       Sen. James Lankford (R-OK):  “‘This is a responsible bill that boosts our national economy, financial security, and government accountability, and I urge the Senate to pass it without delay,’ said U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. ‘I’m pleased that we are moving forward on the appropriations process.  Orderly and transparent appropriations is a core responsibility of Congress, and a place where significant government reforms can be implemented.’” [Press Release, 6/21/18]

6.       Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK):  “‘I’m proud of the work we have done to direct federal resources where they are needed most by investing in programs aimed to protect people and our lands.  This bill will empower Americans to create healthier, safer communities across the nation.  This bill equips Americans with basic, vital services that many Americans may take for granted.  Far too many communities in rural states like Alaska lack safe, water and adequate sewer infrastructure, but through this bill we provide substantial resources to improve wastewater and drinking water systems nationwide as well as construct new infrastructure,’ said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. ‘From support for improving and maintaining rural health facilities, to providing tools to combat domestic violence, substance abuse, and suicide --- I’m proud that this bill prioritizes the health and well-being of our nation’s rural communities.  These investments today will have a lasting impact on our nation.’” [Press Release, 6/14/18]

7.       Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME):  “’This bipartisan bill is the product of considerable negotiation and compromise.  I worked closely with Ranking Member Reed in drafting this bill, and we received input from 70 Senators with more than 800 requests, all of which we carefully evaluated,’ said U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), chairman of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. ‘The funding in this legislation will allow us to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, while fully funding the renewal of housing assistance for low-income seniors and other vulnerable populations, such as teenagers and veterans who are homeless.’” [Press Release, 6/7/18]


                                                     i.      On June 14, 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill by a vote of 30-1.

                                                    ii.      Supported in the Appropriations Committee by Republican Senators Alexander, Blunt, Boozman, Capito, Collins, Daines, Graham, Hoeven, Hyde-Smith, Kennedy, McConnell, Moran, Murkowski, Rubio, and Shelby. [Press Release, 6/14/18]

                                                  iii.      Appropriations Committee Chairman Shelby and Subcommittee Chairman Moran praised the bill:

1.       Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL):  “’This legislation invests in significant priorities that impact the entire nation, such as law enforcement, space explorations, scientific research, and economic development agencies,’ said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). ‘Senators Moran and Shaheen have worked together to strike a fair and proper funding balance, and I commend their good work on this bipartisan measure.’” [Press Release, 6/14/18]

2.       Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS):  “’This bipartisan bill achieves an appropriate balance between fiscal responsibility and investing in our future by supporting law enforcement, national security interests, economic development and scientific innovation,’ said U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee. ‘Sen. Shaheen and I have worked in an open and transparent manner to address the many important priorities within our jurisdiction, and I urge my colleagues to support this bill when it is considered by the Senate.’” [Press Release, 6/14/18]


                                                     i.      On June 21, 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.

                                                    ii.      Supported in the Appropriations Committee by all Republican members including Senators Alexander, Blunt, Boozman, Capito, Collins, Daines, Graham, Hoeven, Hyde-Smith, Kennedy, Lankford, McConnell, Moran, Murkowski, Rubio, and Shelby. [Press Release, 6/21/18]

                                                  iii.      Appropriations Committee Chairman Shelby and Subcommittee Chairman Graham praised the bill:

1.       Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL):  “’This bill works to ensure that our foreign assistance funding is both effective and efficient.  Additionally, it provides the appropriate resources for programs impacting global health. Whether for humanitarian, diplomatic, or national security purposes, foreign aid programs can play a role in preserving the security of the United States,’ said Senate Appropriation Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).  ‘I applaud Senator Graham and Vice Chairman Leahy on their good work on this balanced measure.’” [Press Release, 6/21/18]

2.       Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):  “’First and foremost, this is a national security bill.  This bill makes America safer by supporting critical diplomatic efforts around the world, providing security assistance for our allies, directing stabilization assistance for areas in chaos due to conflict, and supporting life-saving health and humanitarian assistance to people in dire need,’ said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee. ‘The challenges we face are increasingly dynamic and complex, with hostile regimes seeking to undermine our standing on the world’s stage at every turn.  Now is not the time for retreat.  This bill signals to the world that America is not backing away from its role as the leader of the free world.’” [Press Release, 6/21/18]

  1. Continuing Resolution for DHS

On December 19, 2018, the Senate passed a continuing resolution that funded the government, including DHS, through February 8, 2019. This bill passed by voice vote, meaning no Republican Senator objected to expedited passage of the legislation.