House Dems push new border security plan as shutdown staggers on

Lucille Roybal Allard

California Rep. Lucille Roybal Allard spent the weekend working on a bill that will “reflect the consensus of House Democrats.” | Alex Brandon/AP Photo

House Democrats are preparing a counteroffer to President Donald Trump’s border security proposal, seeking to restart long-stalled negotiations to reopen the government after 33 days.

Democratic leaders have drafted their own plan to reopen the Department of Homeland Security that boosts border security funding but doesn’t provide new money for a wall, according to multiple Democratic lawmakers and aides.

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Rep. Lucille Roybal Allard (D-Calif.), whose spending bill is in charge of DHS, spent the weekend working on a bill that will “reflect the consensus of House Democrats,” one aide said. The bill stands little chance of becoming law in the face of likely GOP opposition, but is seen as “something to work with” in negotiations with the White House.

The bill won’t include any additional money for Trump’s fencing project, but will include more money for other Democratic border security priorities, such as new technology and more staff to stem the flow of illegal drugs through ports of entry.

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), vice chair of the House Democratic Conference, confirmed the plans to reporters Wednesday.

“We are hoping to roll that out this week,” Clark said. “That it will be setting forth a path forward out of this, and building on what we have been trying to put forward.”

John Bresnahan contributed to this report.