Faith groups oppose massive increase in border spending

A U.S. Army soldier walks past a Border Patrol vehicle and concertina wire Nov. 9 in San Diego. The soldier is part of a deployment of troops to the border ordered by President Donald Trump in response to a caravan of Honduran migrants traveling to the U.S. border after fleeing violence in Central America. (CNS/David Maung)

Despite a last-minute, stopgap spending bill to allow lawmakers to pay their respects to former President George H.W. Bush this week, conflicts over proposed budget increases to fund controversial measures at the border still threaten a possible, partial government shutdown just before the holidays.

Lawmakers had been facing a Friday deadline to resolve conflicts over a longer-term spending package that President Donald Trump has said must include funding for a border wall. The stopgap bill would give them two more weeks to come to an agreement after Bush's funeral on Wednesday.

But an interfaith group is still planning a press conference today to address the border funding issue, and a Catholic social justice lobbying group is pushing for the Senate version of the appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security, because it contains $1.6 billion for border fencing, compared to the House version, which provides some $5 billion requested by Trump for the border wall.

"We fought to get it as low of a number as possible, and I wish it was lower," said Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization, which originally pushed for no increase to border security funding.

Read the full story at National Catholic Reporter.

Read Sr. Simone Campbell's recent column here.