Shuttered Federal Functions
Congress today cleared for the President’s consideration a short-term continuing appropriations resolution (CR) funding the shuttered operations of the federal government through February 15, 2019. The congressional action had the effect of re-opening the government without funding President Trump's proposed wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, an outcome that the President repeatedly asserted he would not accept..
It was part of a larger deal that requires Congress to convene a conference committee to consider proposals to enhance border security. That conference committee must report back either the fact that it has reached a compromise or that it has failed to reach one by February 15th.
- Funding Matters. With respect to immigration- and refugee-related appropriations, the measure extends FY ‘18 levels of funding through February 15, 2019, for the departments, agencies, and functions normally funded through the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act; the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act; and the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.
This includes funding for the Department of Homeland Security and all of its entities; the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM); and the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
With respect to border security, specifically, the measure continues funding at FY ’18 levels.
- Authorization Matters. With respect to immigration programs, the measure extends through February 15, 2019, by cross reference, five immigration programs:.
After debating the measure and disposing of the Republican Motion to Recommit it, the House passed it by a voice vote. However, after complaints from Republicans that the vote was called too quickly, the Democratic Leadership agreed to vitiate the action by which the House passed the measure and hold a recorded vote on the measure this week. That vote occurred on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, with the House passing the measure by a vote of 229-184.
- Motion to Recommit with Instructions. Republicans offered a motion to recommit (MTR) the bill, with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to require the bill to be reported back to the House with an amendment striking the date February 28, 2019 and inserting January 15, 2019.. That motion failed by a vote of 195-222. 
Six Democrats voted in favor of the MTR. No Republicans voted against it.
The Six Democrats who supported the MTR were Representatives Joe Cunningham (R-SC), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Conor Lamb (D-PA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Max Rose (D-NY), and Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ).
- Passage of the Bill. Once the MTR was disposed of, the House passed the measure by a vote of 229-184. 
One Democrat voted against the bill; six Republicans voted for it.
The Democrat who voted against the bill was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The six Republicans voting in favor of the measure were Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Will Hurd (R-TX), John Katko (R-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
The vehicle that was chosen to carry the three week-long CR was H.J. Res. 28. The vehicle chosen to carry the border security provisions was H.R. 268, a FY ’19 Disaster Assistance Supplemental Appropriations bill that the House had passed on January 16, 2019..
Senate Floor Consideration. After President Trump reached agreement with Congress on a path forward to reopen, the Senate took up H.J. Res. 28, amending it to change the date through which it extends funding to February 15, 2019, and passing the amended measure by a voice vote.
Final House Floor Consideration. Moments after the Senate passed the amended version of H.J. Res. 28, the House took it up and passed it by unanimous consent, sending it to the President for his consideration.
Next Steps. Now that the President has signed H.J. Res. 28 into law,  the next step in the process is the assignment of a public law number to the measure.
 Click HERE to see a transcript of the House floor debate on H.J. Res. 28, as printed in the January 17, 2019, edition of the Congressional Record
 House Roll Call Number 43, January 17, 2019
 House Roll Call Number 46, January 23, 2019
 The public law number had not yet been assigned to H.J. Res. 28 at the time of this writing. As a general matter, after the President signs a bill into law, it is delivered to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), where editors assign a Public Law Number, prepare it for publication as a Slip Law, and include it in the next edition of the United States Statutes at Large. The Public Law Number should be assigned to H.J. Res. 28 sometime this week.