More blame Trump and GOP for possible shutdown than Dems

Lester Mason
January 19, 2018

The House voted late Thursday on a patchwork bill to fund the government through February 16, but a mix of Senate Democrats and Republicans appears poised to reject that legislation and refuse to pass a new budget, ushering in the first government shutdown since 2013.

Senate Democrats last night promised to stall a vote on the measure because it does not address restoring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects hundreds of thousands of kids from being deported.

The four-week continuing resolution (CR) passed 230-197, with six Democrats voting for it and 11 Republicans voting no. While Republicans control both the House and Senate, 60 votes are needed in the Senate to avoid a filibuster.

The government runs out of money midnight Friday into Saturday unless Congress passes a spending bill.

The bill's passage in the House was secured late Thursday when Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, announced his support for the legislation after securing promises from GOP leaders on conservative-backed measures involving immigration and the military.

"The Democrats, if they are going to shutdown the government, they can do that", said Republican Sen.

In the event of a federal government shutdown, food inspections, federal law enforcement, airport security checks, and other vital services would continue, as would Social Security, other federal benefit programs and military operations.

The Washington Post reports that the bill that passed through the House includes an extension of a children's health insurance programme (CHIP) and delays to several unpopular health-care taxes - apparent efforts to persuade Democrats to back the temporary extension.

House passage came only after conservatives secured a promise from House speaker Paul Ryan that he would soon advance some type of legislation to bolster USA military readiness, said Republican Representative Mark Meadows. "Whether there is a government shutdown or not is entirely up to them". Two Republicans - Mike Lee and Rand Paul - voted no on even opening debate on the House bill.

Trump threw a wrench into the talks on Thursday morning by tweeting that he didn't want the children's health-insurance provision in the short-term spending bill.

Any federal employees sent home wouldn't be paid during the shutdown, but Congress has traditionally agreed to reimburse them once lawmakers can pass a new budget.

"The agreement is far from flawless, as I believe Congress should end short-term funding patches, improve the financial integrity of CHIP and repeal the medical device tax in its entirety", Toomey said, the newswire reported.

Democratic political consultant Pete Giangreco, a partner at The Strategy Group, says Republican dysfunction in Washington all but guarantees a shutdown.

Some government agencies will run out of money if Congress can not pass a funding plan by the end of Friday. So in that chamber, Republicans can say they did their part.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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