House Passes Two-Week Stopgap Bill to Keep Government Funded

08 December, 2017, 01:42 | Author: Wade Massey
  • From left Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise R-La. and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif. meet with reporters after House Republicans held a closed-door strategy session as the deadline looms to pass a spen

In the House, Democrats waited for Republicans to put up the votes required for passage before some of their more vulnerable members supported the two-week funding extension.

Meanwhile, at the White House, President Trump met with congressional leaders and Defense Secretary James Mattis to discuss a path forward on defense spending, immigration and other sticking points to avoid a shutdown around the holidays.

House conservatives are pushing to pass a one-year defense funding bill separately from the second longer-term continuing resolution ahead of Congress' Dec. 22 deadline.

Pelosi said Democrats will oppose today's expected vote because the legislation lacks funding to address opioid addiction, pensions, community health centers, veteran funding, children's health insurance funding, the Dream Act and emergency disaster relief. "So they're not showing up for the meeting", Trump told reporters last week. "Nothing specific has been agreed to, but discussions continue", Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement after the meeting.

Republican Representative Paul Gosar, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said before the vote that he fears the December 22 deadline will force Republicans into too many concessions to Democrats on spending and policy.

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Once Republicans and Democrats agree to the overall budget numbers, appropriators will take roughly two weeks to write spending bills based on those levels for the rest of the fiscal year, which goes through September. Trump said earlier this week that a government shutdown "could happen" because of Democratic demands.

Mr. Trump has rescinded the so-called DACA deportation amnesty that was ordered by former President Barack Obama, leaving Congress until March to act, but some Democrats want to deal with it now.

After a deal is reached, the two parties can negotiate a long-term spending package.

While the bill keeps the government running for now, it would set up a pre-Christmas showdown later this month. Chuck Schumer of NY and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, ticking off a roster of Democratic priorities, including domestic-spending increases, funding for veterans and money to battle opioid abuse, immigration and health care. Rep. Mark Meadows, the chair of the Freedom Caucus, ended up voting for the bill along with numerous members.

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