Posted: 9:59 pm Monday, January 21st, 2019
By Jamie Dupree
Two days after President Donald Trump unveiled his compromise plans to provide funding for his border wall in exchange for halting deportations for about 1 million people in the U.S. illegally under a pair of immigration programs, Senate Republicans on Monday night fleshed out the details as they released a 1,301 page bill which would also fully fund the government and end a partial government shutdown which has stretched for a month.
“For the good of the country, I encourage my Democratic colleagues to either join us in passing this legislation or come to the negotiating table with constructive solutions of their own,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Saying no to everything will not move our country forward,” Shelby added in a late night statement on Monday night.
The plan not only includes the legislative text of the President’s immigration proposals, but also the language of seven different spending bills, which would fund all agencies of the federal government and end the shutdown that began back on December 22.
New: Senate Republicans release 1,301-page bill to reopen the government and fund the wall, modeled on Trump’s proposal.
SUMMARY, via Approps GOP: https://t.co/eMeu364qJP
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 22, 2019
As with previous legislation from Republicans about border security, the phrase “border wall” is not to be found at any point in either the legislative text, or the report language about the bill.
Instead, the GOP plan would approve $5.7 billion for a ‘physical barrier system,’ intended to complete work on the ten highest priority border projects as determined by the Department of Homeland Security.
Also included are the items spelled out by the President in his speech to the nation on Saturday:
+ The “BRIDGE” Act – legislation which would provide about 700,000 DACA recipients with a three year legal status in the United States, but no pathway to citizenship.
+ Also getting temporary legal status would be 300,000 who were once protected by the TPS program, allowing them to avoid deportation for three years.
+ The bill also would create a new plan which allows people to apply from asylum from their home country, rather than try to make the arduous trip from Central America, through Mexico, and into the United States.
Critics said those asylum changes are not minor.
Wow. Massive asylum restrictions is right. This bill appears to ban asylum for Central American Minors who try to apply at the US border! It says that if you're a CAM, you MUST apply in your country or you are ineligible for asylum. And then the bill sets a cap! https://t.co/Y1Z2hayrXV
— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@ReichlinMelnick) January 22, 2019
The plan also includes $12.7 billion in disaster relief aid for a variety of agricultural problems, including money to cover “cover blueberry and peach crop losses resulting from freezes and producers impacted by Tropical Storm Cindy,” $600 million to help the Marine Corps repair damage to installations in North Carolina, and for the Air Force to fix Tyndall Air Fore Base, in Florida, damaged by Hurricane Michael.
+ $480 million in Emergency Forest Restoration
+ $125 million in Emergency Watershed Protection
+ $150 million in Rural Community Facilities grants
+ $600 million in Economic Development assistance programs
+ $50 million to improve hurricane, flooding, and wildfire forecasts
+ $150 million for fishery disasters harming coastal communities
+ $28 million to replace damaged federal prison facilities.
+ $15 million for Legal Services Corporation to prove storm-related legal help.
+ $740 million in new Army Corps of Engineers flood and storm damage reduction projects.
+ $225 million for water projects on the Mississippi River and its tributaries
+ $350,000 for the Central Utah Project for wildfire remediation
+ $526 million for Coast Guard repairs
+ $312 million to repair damaged infrastructure in national parks and wildlife refuges.
+ $414 million in wastewater and drinking water projects as a result of 2018 hurricanes and wildfires.
+ $720 million to repay borrowed funds for FY 2018 wildfire work
+ $49.5 million in economic recovery from the Dislocated Worker National Reserve program
+ $246 million for the Department of Health and Human Services
+ $165 million for the Department of Education to help students affected by natural disasters
+ Over $850 million for military construction projects to replace items damaged by Hurricanes Florence and Michael
+ $10.5 million for Federal Transit Administration emergency relief
House Democrats this week will also be pushing ahead with legislation to fund the government; the House last week approved $12.7 billion in disaster aid, though most Republicans opposed the plan, because the underlying bill did nothing about the border security issue.
So far, no Democrats have endorsed the new effort from Republicans in the Senate.