House passes temporary funding bill to avert shutdown

Donald Trump pushes for merit-based immigration system

Donald Trump pushes for merit-based immigration system

That tally dramatically increases the chances of a shutdown after Friday's midnight deadline.

Hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats could be sent home if the U.S. government shuts down at midnight Friday, but the military and other crucial functions would continue if previous shutdowns are a guide. "But that will be a bill we can not support", 171 of 193 House Democrats wrote in a letter to Trump.

But Ryan still had work to do with the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

A one-month spending bill "is not good for the military". Trump's historically poor popularity and a string of Democratic election victories have fueled that party's hopes of capturing control of the House and perhaps the Senate.

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.

A little less than two hours after the House vote, the Senate voted unanimously to start debate on the House-passed bill, but put off any votes on the bill until Friday.

Sen. John McCain, a Republican, has been out for health reasons, and Sen. "We don't have a reliable partner at the White House to negotiate with", Senator Lindsey Graham said on Thursday morning".

"It's not because immigration isn't included", Sen.

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

A group of senators is also considering an even shorter extension of government funding, proposed by Sen. "It doesn't resolve the fate of the Dreamers". They say the four-week duration of the House continuing resolution is too long and would take the pressure off of immigration negotiations.

On Thursday morning, the president appeared to undercut his own party with a tweet indicating he did not want the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funded as part of the budget measure. Republican leaders had spent Wednesday pressuring Democrats to vote for the spending bill, arguing that opposing it would effectively block a six-year extension of the children's health program, attached to the spending bill as a sweetener for lawmakers in both parties. And as they attempt to reach an agreement to fend off a government shutdown, Republicans seemed largely unconcerned with a tweet from the president that - for a moment - seemed to entirely upend their plans. A White House spokesman, Raj Shah, said that the president supports the House's stopgap bill.

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The prospects for passage of the spending bill in the Senate were dicey.

Rogers, who has been in office since 2003, said he's sharing that message with lawmakers who "haven't been here for so long" and don't "really understand what happens when shutdowns occur".

"We don't have to wait until March, it would be cruel to wait until March", Curbelo told reporters after the House had voted.

Some Republican aides said Trump was trying to be helpful with his tweet. A pile of unfinished Capitol Hill business has been on hold, first as Republicans ironed out last fall's tax bill and now as Democrats insist on progress on immigration. It reauthorizorizes the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years, and also reauthorizes delays on three taxes under Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But U.S. troops will stay at their posts and mail will get delivered as about 500,000 Postal Service employees and 1.3 million uniformed military personnel are exempt from being furloughed. Schumer called McConnell's remarks "outrageous". If Democrats were in power "we would have never never let it expire", in the first place, he said.

"I want to keep the government open".

Republicans for several days have been planning to pass another short-term measure that would extend funding through February 16.

Democrats want a deal to protect around 800,000 immigrants from deportation who arrived in the U.S.as children and now are here illegally.

Privately, McConnell expressed concern about the growing possibility of a shutdown.

Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, told reporters Wednesday he didn't believe GOP leaders had the votes to pass it because of the internal divisions.

As votes for government funding look perilous in Congress, bipartisan senators behind an immigration deal are furiously working behind the scenes to build support for their bill, hoping it could be in play to avert a shutdown. "In another month, we'll be right back here, at this moment, with the same web of problems at our feet, in no better position to solve them".

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