House passes spending bill to avert US government shutdown, Senate chances dim

AP Donald Trump Chuck Schumer

Congressional Republicans may be in need of significant campaign funds as they face Democrats in increasingly competitive districts across the country.

But Democrats laid any blame for a shutdown at Republicans feet, noting that they control the White House and both chambers of Congress, and that there is bipartisan support for finding a solution to DACA.

Lawmakers had a similar deadline last month but they passed a continuing resolution December 21 to keep the federal government funded another month.

"The only thing standing in the way of government funding, resources for our troops, and health care for children right now is Senate Democrats", Ryan said in a statement.

The bill's path in the Senate appeared much more perilous.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the Senate will vote "soon" on the measure.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said he was more focussed on producing a bill that Trump would not veto. Funding runs through midnight Friday and they got paid on Monday, so it's a non-issue unless a shutdown goes until February 1, assuming Congress will approve back pay.

"You can't shut down the government over DACA", Rubio said earlier this week.

Some Republicans agree. They fumed Thursday when he knocked their spending bill in a tweet - even though the White House supports it.

"I am looking for something that President Trump supports and he has not yet indicated what measure he is willing to sign", McConnell said. If Democrats withhold their votes on a spending deal, Ryan will have to convince both defense hawks and the conservative House Freedom Caucus to vote on yet another short-term spending deal.

More news: FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Big warm-up underway through the weekend

Republicans are already dubbing it the "Schumer Shutdown" after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who has warned Republicans that they will not have enough Democratic votes to break the 60-vote filibuster threshold.

Majority House Republican leaders, for their part, had to keep almost all of their members in line in order to approve the short-term spending legislation by a 230 to 197 margin.

Schumer says that if there is a shutdown starting this weekend the public will blame Republicans. The Trump administration set a March 5 deadline for ending DACA and many Democrats believe that recipients of that program of can't wait any longer to have certainty.

The measure would extend the low-income children's health insurance program for six years while delaying some key Obamacare taxes for two years.

But Ben Marter, a spokesman for Durbin, said on Friday that following an initial telephone conversation with Trump about the deal, the senator had been "encouraged" by Trump's reaction and had expected further progress on the legislation at a White House meeting that day.

In the event of a shutdown, food inspections and other vital services would continue, as would Social Security, other federal benefit programs and most military operations. But of the 18 Democrats who backed the last continuing resolution in December, a growing number said they nearly certainly would not vote for the new bill unless President Trump supported a bipartisan plan to provide protections from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought here as children.

The House's Republican funding measure does not include Democrats' demands to shield Dreamers.

Democrats want a deal to protect around 700,000 immigrants from deportation who arrived in the U.S.as children and now are here illegally. It is also unclear if the conservative House Freedom Caucus would vote for the bill.

Republicans were demanding that a separate budget bill financing government for the rest of this year include big boosts for the military, and they accused Democrats of imperiling Pentagon funding.

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