Fractured Republicans seek unity to avert shutdown
Fractured Republicans seek unity to avert shutdown
U.S. President Donald Trump gustures during an interview with Reuters at the White House in Washington U.S
18 January, 2018, 03:52
House Republicans are coalescing around a plan to try and force the Senate to accept a short-term spending bill this week that doesn't address immigration issues and other demands from Democrats in order to avoid a government shutdown after January 19. House GOP leaders overcame the obstacle but aren't so sure they can produce the votes now.
The least controversial part of the negotiations: funding for community health centers and a children's health insurance program called CHIP.
Democrats argue that blame would fall on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House. But the Senate declined to take it up after concerns from Democrats that, among other issues, it did not go almost far enough to help Puerto Rico, where more than a third of the island remains without electricity.
Agreement on a spending bill has been complicated by a Democratic push to include a deal on the status of "Dreamers" - young adults brought to the country illegally as children.
Republicans were also discussing delaying three Affordable Healthcare Act taxes: two-year delays of a medical device and a "Cadillac" tax for high-end insurance plans and a one-year delay in 2019 of another health insurance tax. Still, he said he plans to vote for the measure and expects it to have enough GOP support to pass the House.
Republicans are nine votes shy of the 60 needed to advance a bill. Talks on an immigration plan - which would include new border security funding to appease Republicans - have hit a snag following Trump's tense meeting with bipartisan senators last week.
On Tuesday, Trump laid out his argument that Democrats "don't really want" to extend protections to DACA recipients and that they would be to blame for a shutdown.
President Donald Trump believes this time, however, a government shutdown will help him politically.
Ryan will have to win over key skeptics to get the temporary spending bill passed, particularly if Democrats unanimously oppose a measure with no agreement to protect the "Dreamers".
"None of these are easy, but we are all highly motivated by the fact that come March the 5th this program will no longer be available and all of the work permits that now exist for the 690,000 DACA recipients will go away", Cornyn said.
Regarding the threat of a government shutdown, Arthur says Democratic government workers want to get paid.
A fight over how to pay for an extension had held up the provision for months until a revised score of the bill estimated that it would now pay for itself. In, for the short run: CHIP and delays on ObamaCare taxes.
North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, the leader of the Freedom Caucus, says its members want added money for the military in the short-term spending bill.
Mr Trump said he thinks a deal on immigration is still possible.
"In my judgment, the CR will pass the House by the end of the week", he said. "His biggest promise of the campaign trail was to crack down on illegal immigration and build a border wall".
McCaul and some other Republicans contend that Democrats will watch their strategy backfire politically if they are perceived to have held government funding hostage for DACA recipients.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said Tuesday he'll vote for a short-term spending bill without the DACA fix.
"I have no doubt that it would", he observes, "because we've got troops in the field in Afghanistan".
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he is hesitant to bring a bill to the floor of the Senate if he is not sure Trump will sign it.
These protections are set to expire in March following President Donald Trump's rescission of DACA in September.
"We've been working at this for four months, seriously working at it", Durbin said.
Immigration tensions have also been immeasurably increased by Trump's reported blast at "shithole" African nations last week.
To that end, Senator Susan Collins, a Republican moderate, announced her support of the plan by the so-called Gang of Six. "So there's very, very strong support not to go along with their deal". "It's the only game in town, and we're making steady progress in picking up support in both houses of Congress".
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Others - like Virginia Democrats Tim Kaine and Mark Warner - represent states with many federal workers who don't want a shutdown. This is now a high-stakes game of chicken between two parties - one each side believes they have the upper hand in politically.
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