US Senate passes funding plans – without cash for Mexican border wall

21 Dec 18

The US Senate has passed funding plans for federal agencies, preventing government shutdown - but without money for the Mexican border wall the president demanded.

Earlier this month president Donald Trump threatened a government shutdown after lawmakers said they did not want to include $5bn extra for border security and his planned wall on the border to Mexico.

But this additional $5bn was not included in the plans. The wall has an estimated $24bn price tag.

The Senate approved the spending legislation on Wednesday, which will have to be passed by the House of Representatives before midnight on Friday, when existing funding expires for several federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.

The bill would continue spending at current levels for about 25% of programmes administered by the federal government.

The legislation will fund several agencies through to 8 February, if it is approved by the House and signed off by Trump.

Democrats and many Republicans have challenged Trump on his idea for the wall, saying it would be less effective in securing the border than building on measures already in place.

In the case of a shutdown, which last happened in January when the Democrats and Republicans were unable to agree on a spending bill, hundreds of government workers would stay home and not get paid.

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