Members of Alabama congressional delegation want to avoid government shutdown over border wall money
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby is among the lawmakers working to craft a budget compromise and avoid a looming Friday government shutdown over President Trump’s push for billions in funding for a border wall.
And Alabama’s other U.S. Senator, Democrat Doug Jones, says a shutdown can and should be averted and argues there’s already more than $1 billion for border security in the Senate’s current proposal.
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, said today Congress should provide the border security money President Donald Trump is seeking and avoid a shutdown.
“If a partial government shutdown does occur, I think it will be for a completely unnecessary reason, especially since securing our border should be a top priority,” he said in a news release. “$5 billion is an investment in our future and our sovereignty as a nation. President Trump campaigned on this issue and it is one of the main reasons he was elected.”
The shutdown prospect comes amid a year when most of the government has been funded, including the Department of Defense.
The shutdown would affect a number of agencies that haven’t been funded, but government sources say they are about 25 percent of the current budget. The agencies include:
– Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
– Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
– Financial Services and General Government
– Homeland Security
– Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
– State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
– Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.
Democratic staffers on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee argue that if a shutdown is enacted, 420,000 employees will be working without pay, including TSA and FBI agents. And, 380,000 workers will be furloughed, including more than 95 percent of NASA’s employees.
Jones thinks that can be avoided.
“I think there are too many men and women and families, in the state of Alabama and across America that depend on the federal government being open for business,” he said.
U.S. Rep Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, has expressed support both for a border wall and keeping the government open. A budget measure is expected to be given House members, possibly as early as Monday night, with a substantive vote likely on Thursday.