House passes spending bill, first step in avoiding government shutdown

Frederick Owens
December 8, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Abortion-rights group endorses Nadler in race to replace Conyers on Judiciary Trump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: "About time" GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (D-N.Y.) joined their Republican counterparts at the White House, one week after they pulled out of a meeting created to resolve the contentious year-end spending fight. The leaders were invited over by the president last week, but the Democrats backed out after Trump tweeted that a deal on government funding wasn't likely and called them "weak on crime", among other insults. That would give bargainers time to work through their disagreements, but they will need Democratic votes to succeed.

Democratic votes will be needed to pass a funding deal in the Senate.

Conservative leaders met with top House Republicans and said they were seeking a strategy to reduce Democrats' budget leverage by quickly approving a full-year budget for the military.

Republicans generally favor more money for defense programs, while Democrats often demand equal increases for domestic social programs.

"It could happen", Trump said about a shutdown. Trump ended safeguards against deportation three months ago, but Democrats are demanding their revival and Trump has expressed openness to restoring them.

After a monthslong detente during which they worked alongside House leaders to advance Republican health care and tax bills, the hard-liners in the Freedom Caucus have reasserted their presence this week as Friday's shutdown deadline looms.

More news: White House says Trump will undergo physical exam after slurred speech

Even the head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, whose members have been threatening to oppose the temporary spending measure, predicted passage. "Nobody here wants to see a shutdown". He said they want "illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime". "Any distraction from that is a problem". It was unclear how Republicans could prevent Senate Democrats from blocking such a move.

The group's members say Republicans must focus on passing the GOP's prized tax bill.

The roughly 30-member caucus has been trying to win promises of tight budget curbs and other concessions from leaders in exchange for backing the short-term bill.

For Republicans, a shutdown would put a humiliating bookend on a year in which they've controlled the White House and Congress with little to show for it.

In addition to a simple date change CR, this resolution provides for a change in the way that the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) emergency shortfall funds are distributed to states until December 31, 2017, so that no state's CHIP funding is depleted during the month of December.

Trump has given Congress until March to resolve the issue, with Democrats wanting to vote now, and Republicans mostly hoping to put off any immigration vote until next year after approving the tax and budget legislation. CHIP, which has nearly always been a bipartisan priority, expired over two months ago, but Congressional Republicans continued to play games with this vital program that helps the most vulnerable children in our society ...

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article