Tester Admonishes Congress For Treading Water On Federal Spending Bill

Without the injection of new money, no matter how temporary, scores of federal agencies across the United States will be forced to shut starting at midnight Friday, when existing funds expire.

The House passed a spending bill Thursday to avoid a USA government shutdown, but Senate Democrats say they have the votes to block the measure in a bid to force Republicans and President Donald Trump to include protection for young immigrants.

House Republicans are expected to vote on the short-term deal Thursday night.

Trump spoke as he arrived at the Pentagon for a meeting Thursday.

President Trump with congressional leaders on Wednesday during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole at the U.S. Capitol. House Speaker Paul Ryan immediately summoned reporters to try to pin the blame on top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of NY.

President Donald Trump - who Schumer said "is like a Sphinx on this issue" - on Thursday added to the chaos gripping Washington, weighing in on the intense Republican maneuvering aimed at avoiding a politically embarrassing funding debacle.

"President Trump wants to shut down the government over his cynical and misbegotten 'big attractive wall, ' which will be paid for by USA taxpayers, NOT Mexico", Leahy said. They said that would hurt Democratic senators seeking re-election in 10 states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

One day before the anniversary of Trump's inauguration, his approval rating sits at 32 percent, with 55 percent disapproving of his work in office and 12 percent neutral, according to the joint University of Southern California-Dornsife College/Los Angeles Times national poll.

"Trump going to Mar-a-Lago while government shutdown looms is most irresponsible, self absorbed, dereliction of duty ever by a President", tweeted Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). Those talks were roiled last week by Trump's comments questioning the need for immigration for "shithole countries" in Africa. Democrats wouldn't lose their leverage, and they would get a six-year extension of CHIP without doing anything.

"He does understand CHIP", Ryan told reporters later yesterday. House Speaker Paul Ryan accused Democrats who oppose the bill of wanting to shut down the government and deny funding for the military and children's health insurance. On Wednesday, the Trump administration released an official statement endorsing the stopgap measure, including the extension of funding for CHIP.

The measure would be the fourth stopgap spending bill since the current budget year started in October. He said on his way in that he was there "for our military" and said if a shutdown happens, the "worst thing is what happens to our military".

But conservatives are still a major question mark.

"Even so, most Democrats were ready to oppose the legislation, and GOP conservatives were threatening to defect as well". "I hope not a single Republican is inclined to join them", McConnell wrote". "I actually think a shutdown would be good for America because it would force Americans to take a look at what their government does". Now, they're no longer saying they need a vote on it by the end of this week, but they are saying that they want a deal.

Schumer, responding to McConnell, said: "We all know what the problem is". He called the latest short term bill "a proverbial crap sandwich", but said at this juncture he supported it.

In the House, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, a Republican from North Carolina, left an evening meeting with Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, another Republican from North Carolina. Besides CHIP, they also delayed some taxes from the Affordable Care Act - one on medical devices and another on high-cost, so-called "Cadillac" insurance plans, which they believe it would be tough for those Democrats in swing districts to vote against.

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