WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bill to keep the federal government open until September advanced Thursday without the support of one Central Illinois representative who said it did not go far enough to secure the U.S. southern border.
U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, voted against a package that included nearly $1.4 billion for border security, which fell well short of the $5.7 billion sought by Republican President Donald Trump for a wall on the Mexican border.
"While I am not supportive of shutting down the government, I have made it clear from the beginning of this process that we need to secure our southern border, and the legislation passed this evening simply does not do enough to address the humanitarian crisis and the illegal activity occurring at our border," LaHood said in a statement.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, supported the deal, as did Democratic U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.
"Last Congress, I voted time and time again for significantly more funding for a border structure, but each time, Democrats and Republicans let the perfect become the enemy of the good, and because of that, we now must face the realities of a divided Congress," Davis said in a statement.
"Despite (U.S. House) Speaker Nancy Pelosi promising no wall, there will be 55 miles of new border structure along parts of our southern border, nearly $1.4 billion in funding to build border structures, 1,200 more border agents, and significant investments in surveillance technology because of this bill," Davis said.
"This bill ensures the federal government doesn’t shut down, federal workers are paid, and our border will be more secure than it was yesterday," Davis added.
Durbin, one of the Senate's highest-ranking Democrats, said in a statement: "For 35 days, we said to the president the following: If you will end your government shutdown, we will sit down at the table and negotiate a solution on border security. We kept our word."
Durbin said he wasn't happy with the increased funding for border patrol agents and detention beds for undocumented immigrants in federal custody, but there are elements of which he is proud.
"First, Democrats made clear from the start that we believe in smart and effective border security, and therefore pushed for investments that really work to keep America safe such as technology at ports of entry and customs personnel. ... Second, we insisted on humanitarian assistance. ... Lastly, we rejected the administration’s demand for changes in our asylum laws that would undermine our legal and moral obligations to provide safe haven to families and children fleeing persecution."
"I also hope he will back down from his reckless threat to engage in an unprecedented abuse of presidential power by wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on a fake national emergency that will likely be blocked by the courts," she said.