Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

House GOP Pushes Through Bill To Avert Government Shutdown Without DACA Fix

House GOP Pushes Through Bill To Avert Government Shutdown Without DACA Fix

The House passed a continuing resolution (CR) along party lines Thursday after GOP leadership struck a last-minute deal with the House Freedom Caucus ensuring they had the votes. While both sides are pointing fingers and blaming each other, a host on #Fox News made a decision to break [VIDEO] from the network's conservative narrative to throw shade at the president and the GOP.

'The House just did the right thing - for our men and women in uniform AND for the millions of children who rely on CHIP, ' tweeted House Speaker Paul Ryan following the vote, referring to a popular children's health insurance program. Many Democrats have said they won't support a bill if it doesn't codify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program that exempts young adults who were brought to the country illegally as children, which Trump ended a year ago and has been the centerpiece of a bipartisan immigration deal.

Even before the pivotal votes, Republicans were all but daring Democrats to scuttle the bill and force a shutdown because of immigration.

Democrats said voters would fault Republicans because they control Congress and the White House.

While the House was debating its bill, the Senate was having a similar argument.

Then late this afternoon members of the House Freedom Caucus met with Ryan, and they were suddenly on board with some "concessions" that look pretty ephemeral: agreements for future House votes on higher defense spending (without the corresponding non-defense spending boost that normally accompanies such a step), and on the aforementioned conservative immigration bill.

But even if those bills were to be approved in the House, they would not have 60 votes to make it through the U.S. Senate, which could bring the Congress, the President, and the nation to the brink of the first government funding crisis since 2013.

Overnight the spin machines will whir. The White House later backtracked and said the president supported the spending bill.

Republicans are clearly trying to use CHIP as leverage to pass the bill. Democrats wouldn't really have anything to do with it. If the talks collapse, and the government shuts down, thousands of federal government workers throughout the state would be furloughed.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, leaving a meeting with other deputy leaders, rejected the idea that an immigration deal could be concluded by Friday at midnight.

While Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had said earlier that she would vote for a CR if it's necessary, she backtracked Thursday.

"We could come to an arrangement on healthcare issues rather quickly, and deal with that issue", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lindsay Graham of SC and Mike Rounds of South Dakota have also come out against the CR.

"It's the economy, stupid", Trump said, knowingly appropriating President Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign slogan. It also includes funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program for the next six years.

If lawmakers don't extend funding by Friday night, the government will shut down early Saturday.

Senate Democrats broadly oppose the short-term spending bill, called a continuing resolution, because it does not include protections for immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children and also fails to deal with a broad array of other domestic spending priorities.

J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said shutdowns can have dramatic impacts as jobs are left unattended.

"I think we are going to see a Democrat blue tsunami like we have never seen", he said.

Still, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said there is a "good chance" that the bill will pass in the upper chamber.

"Senate Democrats need to take this seriously and they need to not shut the government down", Ryan said at a post-vote press availability. But bipartisan congressional negotiations with the White House faltered last week, prompting Republican leaders to begin pushing for the passage of the stopgap measure.

Air travel is unlikely to be affected, as air traffic controllers and Transportation Security Administration would keep working. "While they have worked hard to lower the bar of expectations, there is simply no excuse for Democrats if they are unsuccessful in this race".

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