Four fights Trump and Congress must resolve to avert government shutdown

The funding extension will push back the deadline for a shutdown from January 19 to February 16.

A week ago Tuesday, Trump told lawmakers that he would sign any bill they sent him.

Lawmakers are now faced with tight budget caps, agreed to in 2011, that limit how much they can spend for the rest of fiscal year 2018 and beyond. When Congress returns Tuesday there will be additional meetings on an immigration measure among a group that includes the No. 2 Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate. Democratic leaders are demanding protections for the dreamers be part of any spending deal.

"They talk about DACA, but they don't want to help". "We want to keep the government open", Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., offered a similarly rosy assessment.

In other words, Congress will nearly certainly have to pass another short-term measure before January 19 to buy themselves more time. The House Freedom Caucus is always a tough sell on short-term bills and, as CNN's Lauren Fox has reported, are once again not in the least bit sold on another one.

Trump has said he is ready and willing to make a deal to help the Dreamers, but he has insisted that funding for border security, including a wall along the USA border with Mexico that he promised as a presidential candidate, be included in any legislative package.

"There is no reason my colleagues should hold government funding hostage over the issue of illegal immigration", McConnell said. Trump said on Sunday: "I'm not a racist".

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin intends to introduce the bipartisan agreement as legislation on Wednesday, spokesman Ben Marter said.

Trump took to Twitter Tuesday, writing, "The Democrats want to shut down the government over amnesty for all and border security".

They must defend 10 Senate seats in states won by Trump two years ago, in many cases by wide margins over Clinton.

"What most alarms congressional negotiators is that political imperatives appear to have overtaken the immigration policy deliberations in the still-unfolding debate over Mr. Trump's vulgar description in last Thursday's meeting of some nations".

Trump rejected the deal, declaring it "outlandish" and a "setback" in a series of tweets on Friday morning.

Another Democratic Senator from a Trump-friendly state, Joe Donnelly, of IN, said he is "still looking at the process" for the continuing resolution that will need to pass both chamber this week. Democrats also insist that any budget increases for the military be matched for domestic spending.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the government shutdown threat on the Senate floor Tuesday by pushing for a longer negotiating period on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This is now a high-stakes game of chicken between two parties - one each side believes they have the upper hand in politically.

About $52 billion was already provided to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and several states hit by severe hurricanes, wildfires or other natural disasters. But the Senate declined to take it up after concerns from Democrats that, among other issues, it did not go almost far enough to help Puerto Rico, where more than a third of the island remains without electricity.

Both parties have struggled for months to agree on a spending deal for the rest of the fiscal year that began October 1, and Congress already has had to pass three short-term funding bills.

All this underscores: The huge pressure facing Democratic leaders - especially House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - from large swaths of their respective conferences to go to the mattresses when it comes to this fight. The CR will extend the current level of funding for most federal programs for almost a month.

Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years: The funding for the CHIP program lapsed in September, but was sustained through a series of short-term cash infusions from Congress. But there's still no long-term plan in place, and the president and lawmakers have so far been unable to agree on a deal.



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