Senate approves bill to avert shutdown

Senate approves bill to avert shutdown

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 spending bill to fund the government by week's end, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.

Among Republicans, the conservative House Freedom Caucus had resisted the pending stopgap measure earlier in the week, fearing it would lead to a bad deal for conservatives down the road.

Pelosi also told reporters Thursday that lawmakers "will not leave here" without a deal to help immigrants who came to the US illegally as children and are enrolled in the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump ended three months ago. Those are the roughly 700,000 immigrants in the country illegally who were brought to the U.S.as children. But GOP leaders needed those conservatives to support the measure in the House because Democrats broadly refused to vote for it.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is suggesting that House Republicans have enough votes to fund the federal government through December 22, even if all Democrats vote against the measure.

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

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. Once the budget deal is reached, lawmakers can work out detailed spending plan that would fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year 2018 which ends on September 30 next year.

Republican House conservatives and defense hawks are pushing for a separate bill to address defense spending because it would allow them to circumvent having to make a deal with Democrats on raising spending caps.

"I'd really like to know what you expect to accomplish in the next two weeks when we haven't been able to accomplish anything in the last two months", said Representative Nita M. Lowey of NY, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. They know they'd still have leverage on subsequent bills needed to keep the government running.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats don't intend to vote for the measure because it doesn't include funding for their priorities.

The leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus says Republicans' chief vote counter has told him there are enough votes to pass a short-term spending bill Thursday, keeping agencies open until December 22. It later passed on a 222-192 vote, with seven Republicans opposed.

Mr. Meadows said he spoke to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) during the vote and that they had a "good conversation" about the duration of the short-term spending bill.

Congress seems set to prevent a weekend government shutdown. "So they're not showing up for the meeting", Trump told reporters last week.

The House has voted to avert a partial government shutdown that could have come Friday night.

Still, they may be willing to agree to the two-week bill if defense spending is dealt with separately in the next round of budget talks.

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