As of December 14th, Congress had passed five spending bills for fiscal year (FY) 2019, but seven others remain outstanding, including those funding the Department of State, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security. Congress failed to reach a decision to pass the outstanding bills or extend current funding levels by December 21st to avoid a partial government shutdown.
The President has noted that he would welcome a government shutdown if the bills do not include the $5.5 billion he has requested for the border wall. The Administration has similarly requested an increase in funding for detention of immigrants, to cover an average daily detention level of 52,000 people/night.
It is critical that we, as Catholics, urge Members of Congress to avoid a shutdown – recognizing that several of the outstanding bills fund important refugee and immigration-related programs – while also rejecting funding increases for inhumane immigration enforcement efforts.