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etvfutures.com December 18, 2017


Congress passes two-week stopgap to avoid government shutdown

08 December 2017, 02:46 | Opal Carroll

AP The US Capitol

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

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. Republicans have said they prefer to deal with DACA separately.

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

After the House of Representatives approved a continuing resolution to keep the government funded for two weeks, the Senate approved the resolution in a bipartisan vote on Thursday. GOP leaders have historically needed bipartisan support to pass spending bills through the House.

President Donald Trump and Democratic and Republican congressional leaders are sounding an optimistic tone as they sit down at the White House.

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

Ahead of Thursday's vote, 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.) made clear that Democrats wouldn't support the two-week stopgap.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after returning to the Capitol that while an agreement on spending limits wasn't reached, "We agreed that we want to resolve all of these issues in the next couple of weeks".

The Senate is expected to pass the bill, as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said on Thursday morning that they are making progress on budget talks. He called keeping the government running "just basic governing".

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.

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"Until we get those assurances, we are just kicking a can down the road", said Republican Representative Andy Biggs, a member of the Freedom Caucus.

The House speaker outlined the bill's legislative process and critiqued the current tax code.

"If a shutdown happens as the president seemed to be rooting for earlier in his tweet this year, it will fall on his shoulders", he said on the Senate floor Thursday.

"There is a whole lot more pressure to get home for Christmas than there is for New Year's", Rep. Mark Meadows (R., N.C.), chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told reporters after the vote.

"I want to avoid a headline that says President Trump's administration just passes the highest spending levels in USA history", Meadows told two reporters.

Walker said Ryan also committed to seek to include disaster relief spending in the December 22 spending bill, as well as an effort to cut $190 billion in entitlement spending over 10 years through "some kind of work requirement for capable-bodied adults with no dependents".

The two-week spending measure is aimed at giving both parties' bargainers more time to reach longer-term budget decisions.

Many on both sides have decided a headline-grabbing federal closure would be a political blunder, at least for now.



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