Late Friday, the parts of government that were unfunded were extended through February 15. The continuing resolution (CR) maintains funding at 2018 levels so there are really two issues to be resolved: what level of final funding for the seven appropriations bills in question and the fate of the wall/security issues.

There has been a lot of discussion of the President’s desire to get $5.7 billion for the first installment of a wall (two hundred miles) but little discussion of how it would get paid for, if it gets passed.

The Senate voted on a bill that provided the full $5.7 billion and the Senator Mitch McConnell-crafted bill would have funded the $5.7 billion by declaring it “emergency spending” which means it does not count against budget caps but does increase the current deficit. Generally emergency spending is limited to disaster funding (which was also in the bill). Beyond this specific bill it is unclear how funding for a wall or additional “boarder security” spending will be covered.

The House FY 2019 spending allocation was $51.4 billion for Homeland Security. The Senate total was set at $48.3 billion. Both houses spread that funding across the Department’s priorities that include the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), border control and the Coast Guard with an allocation for boarder security that ranged between $1.3 and $1.6 billion. The discussion over security-wall cost could come from the final Homeland Security spending cap or they may have to reduce other spending allocations from other unfunded or unsettled appropriations that include funding from agriculture, housing, transportation and the State Department to name a few. Presumably a deal on security would also allow the remaining appropriations to be finalized at the higher 2019 budget cap levels.