Congress averts government shutdown... for now

08 December, 2017, 02:45 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • The 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday Dec. 6 2017 in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964 and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana

Lawmakers passed it in a 235-193 vote. They have yet to say what they will do. Pelosi staked out a hard line Thursday and insisted that any year-end deal solve the immigration issue.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the leadership was "receiving an update on our military by Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis".

House conservatives had raised objections to the current plan to extend funding until December 22 before reaching a longer-term deal because they worry the pressure to leave town right before Christmas will give Democrats leverage to get more of their priorities included in a spending bill at that time.

Meadows said they'll help it pass to avoid distractions from the GOP drive to push their treasured $1.5 trillion tax bill through Congress this month.

But hours before Trump was to bargain with congressional leaders at the White House over longer-term spending decisions, Meadows said the conservatives would oppose any agreement they feel allows excessive federal spending.

Pelosi and Schumer, in a joint statement, described the White House meeting as "productive".

House passage of the bill came after President Trump met with congressional leaders Thursday from both parties in the House and Senate at the White House to discuss the issue of government funding ahead of the Friday deadline to fund the government.

Brady, who leads the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said House Republicans are still deciding which taxes they would sunset.

If the conservative faction ultimately backs the package, it would likely seal the GOP's hopes of avoiding the need for a last-minute deal with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who could demand additional concessions to keep the government open.

The two week extension would give Democrats and Republicans time to negotiate spending issues. He called keeping the government running "just basic governing".

For its part, the White House has indicated Trump will sign the two-week spending extension and laid out its goals for upcoming budget bargaining.

"The point is we're having the kind of family discussion that we need to have about how to proceed forward with a majority, and I'm confident we will have that", the Wisconsin Republican said.

The delay underscored the clout that conservatives wield within the House GOP as the party aims to push legislation through the House and Senate this week to keep federal agencies functioning.

Meadows says GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan has promised to try passing future legislation funding the military for the year and leaving fights with Democrats over domestic spending for later.

Earlier on Thursday, Schumer said Trump seemed to be rooting for a shutdown and if one occurs, "it will fall on his shoulders". "So they're not showing up for the meeting", Trump told reporters last week.

The Freedom Caucus on Monday initially withheld votes on a motion to go to conference with the Senate on the two chambers' tax-reform bills to gain leverage over GOP leaders on the spending strategy.

With the budget chafing under spending caps imposed by a 2011 bipartisan budget deal, Democrats want defense and domestic programs to get equal funding increases.

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