White House backs short-term government funding bill

Lawrence Kim
January 20, 2018

If DACA expires, almost 800,000 immigrants will be deported. He asked Congress to instead come up with a legislative fix for the Dreamers, who received protection from deportation under Democratic President Barack Obama. But there are perils. They won a test vote on Thursday afternoon to bring the month-long spending measure to the floor, but GOP leaders still face a revolt from conservatives who say they have enough votes to torpedo the bill even before it gets to the Senate. Republican chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11), stated, "If it's shut down over immigration, the Democrats take the brunt of that".

Republican leaders in Congress turned to another short-term spending bill, which they want to pass and send to President Donald Trump's desk by Friday, as hopes for an immigration agreement with the White House ebbed. Several Democrats are expected to oppose it, "especially those considering a White House run", the Times reports.

Congress has until Friday to reach an agreement on a thicket of thorny issues, and the talks don't appear to be going very smoothly right now. Trump has denied using that word.

"I'll be a "no" vote because I'm not gonna vote to continue to put the country further into debt", Paul said on Fox News.

"In its current form I'm probably a no", Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham said in an interview. The Senate approach, Lujan Grisham said, would reduce the parents of Dreamers to "second-class citizens" because they would receive temporary protections and no pathway to citizenship, as well as other problems.

Top Democrats have faced pressure from the Hispanic Caucus and immigration advocacy groups to oppose any spending bill that does not include a favorable DACA deal - despite the fact that the program will not expire until March 5.

President Donald Trump has spent the past few days using his Twitter account to blame Democrats for a potential impending shutdown, hyperbolically accusing them of favoring amnesty for all over the US military.

House Republicans were scheduled to huddle on Tuesday night to try to figure out how best to avoid a government shutdown, congressional aides said.

As a stop-gap measure, the proposed short-term spending bill will fund the United States federal government through February 16.

The plan amounts to election-year brinkmanship by Ryan and his leadership team that counts on enough Senate Democrats being concerned about how a shutdown would look to voters as their campaigns get under way in a few months. "Should a shutdown occur, we do not expect much of a market reaction", Mills noted.

No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer said Democrats have not decided whether they will support another continuing resolution and "kick the can down the road one more time".

Many Democrats have said they will not vote for a long-term spending bill - or a stop-gap measure to avoid a partial government shutdown - without a deal to protect young immigrants who entered the country illegally as children, known as "Dreamers".

The bill will also include extras like funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program and a delay of some Obamacare taxes.

With a Friday midnight deadline looming, Republicans are angling for a temporary bill that extends federal spending into mid-February, re-authorizes funding for a threatened children's health insurance scheme for six years, and scraps some health-related taxes - with no immigration-linked measure included.

But Trump rejected a bipartisan bill last Thursday, one that senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Graham helped craft. Durbin intends to introduce the bipartisan agreement as legislation on Wednesday, spokesman Ben Marter said.

But in a moment of bluntness, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the lack of clarity from the White House.

It's a compromise affecting the futures of almost 700,000 Dreamers, as they're known.

During a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning, GOP leaders made the pitch that the stopgap bill was the only path to keeping talks going on a broader budget deal and a separate effort to come up with a bipartisan compromise on DACA.

Trump tried to shift blame to Democrats for the stalemate, saying in remarks at the Pentagon that the sweeping tax overhaul he signed in December is already improving the economy but "the Democrats would like to blunt that by shutting down government". "The biggest loser will be our rapidly rebuilding Military, at a time we need it more than ever", Trump wrote on Twitter.

"If there is one, it'll fall on the Republicans' backs, plain and simple", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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