Rep. Hill, local republican chair react to funding deal

Hill addresses the media outside the Capitol Building after she had been sworn in Thursday, January 3, 2018. Photo courtesy of the office of Katie Hill.

Congress passed a funding bill Thursday to prevent another government shutdown, which includes $1.375 billion in funding that will be used to support 55 miles of border barrier.

The bill was passed with bipartisan support as politicians from both sides of the aisle broke with party ranks to make the deal happen.

The 1,100-page bill calls for 55 miles of steel post fencing, 600 more border and customs officers, as well as $560 million that will be dedicated to drug inspection at various ports of entry. It will now head to President Trump for his signature. It’s expected to be signed in time to avoid another government shutdown, which was set to start Saturday.

“It’s good that people get to go back to work. I’m glad (representatives) were able to come together to get the shutdown deal done and get workers paid,” said Mark Hershey, chair of 38th Assembly District Republican Central Committee. “It is unfortunate that Democrats couldn’t find it in their wisdom to fully fund the wall.”

Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, said multiple times during the previous shutdown that both Democrats and Republicans will have to compromise to come to an agreement, because neither side is going to get all of their demands met.

The congresswoman said Thursday evening after the vote the recent agreement includes concessions made by both sides, which is why she opted to support the bill.

“I’ve said from the beginning that neither side would be totally happy with this deal — and that’s true, but that’s what compromise is,” Hill said.

“This deal invests in proven solutions that actually work. It increases funding for personnel and includes funding for limited and strategic fencing,” she added. “It’s a path forward that will implement some much-needed change, increase border security and keep our government open. In my book, that’s a good deal.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said prior to a vote by the House of Representatives that Trump intends to sign the bipartisan bill, but is also expected to declare a national emergency to ensure the country is able to secure its southern border.

Hill condemned the move in a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon, and mentioned after the vote that the president knew from the beginning that a wall wasn’t possible.

“It was never going to be a 2,000-mile concrete structure paid for by Mexico, but (Trump) feels the need to say he delivered this for his base,” Hill said. “It’s absolutely absurd to consider cutting funding from real emergencies — like cleanup and future forest fire mitigation after the most deadly fire season in California’s history — to sidestep congressional approval.”

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