House Republicans Scramble To Avoid Government Shutdown

Mick Mulvaney

The final vote was 230-197, with six Democrats voting for the measure and 11 Republicans voting against it, reported the Hill.

A last-ditch battle to avert a looming United States government shutdown moved to the Senate on Friday, where Democrats angered by the collapse of immigration talks have vowed to block a stop-gap funding bill.

But by midday today, the chances of a shutdown appeared to be rising. Shortly before the vote, the House Freedom Caucus said a majority of its members had voted to approve the measure, making passage more certain.

In one sign of good news for McConnell, Sen. Senate Republican leaders were working through scenarios that could force Democrats up for re-election in 2018 to take politically challenging votes for days after the missed deadline.

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.

Republicans added sweeteners to the bill, hoping to make it tough for Democrats to oppose it. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said on CNN.

She released a statement Thursday saying, "I wouldn't vote for a CR without the Dream Act, and I won't do so now", referencing the inclusion of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (Dream Act).

"The CR leaves out so many priorities that the American people want and demand".

Democrats would be to blame, Ryan said earlier Thursday, if the government winds up shutting down, blasting them for using the military as "bargaining chips". "It doesn't resolve the fate of the Dreamers". Lindsay Graham says he won't support a Continuing Resolution because it doesn't guarantee long-term funding for the military.

Trump also threw a wrench into the negotiations Thursday morning by tweeting that the Children's Health Insurance Program should not be part of a short-term deal, putting him at odds with his own administration's stated policy.

Congress did not do so, but Jones proposed a bill last week that would extend CHIP funding for five years - one year shorter than the stopgap spending bill Democrats are rejecting.

A growing number of lawmakers said they opposed the deal - not over immigration, but because they are exhausted of passing stopgap measures - and demanded that negotiations continue on a longer-term spending bill. The children's health program serves almost 9 million low-income children, and some states have come close to exhausting their funds.

If the government closes and its employees are furloughed, it will be the first time under unified party control of Congress and the White House.

Trump's tweet also contradicted the White House's already stated position in favor of the stopgap bill.

It's "too early to tell" whether a shutdown would affect the government's implementation of the massive new tax law enacted last month, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview Wednesday on Fox Business Network's "Varney & Co".

Before the vote was passed Trump tweeted that it was 'so important for our country - our Military needs it!'

"We can't keep kicking the can down the road", said Schumer, insisting on more urgency in talks on immigration. "I don't know why he's doing that", this person said about Trump's tweets. Democrats are confident they have more than enough votes to block it.

"It seems to be a work in progress". Schumer called McConnell's remarks "outrageous".

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn has dubbed the potential experation of funding the "Schumer Shutdown".

If Congress can't agree on a spending bill by midnight Friday or soon after, about 800,000 federal workers face furloughs and many government functions would be closed.

If the current measure fails, the next steps are unclear.

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

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

Most Democrats remained opposed anyway, though saying they'd relent if there also was a deal to protect around 700,000 immigrants from deportation who arrived in the U.S.as children and now are here illegally. "[Why] hold all that hostage while we resolve a non-imminent problem related to illegal immigration?"

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