March 18, 2018

U.S. gov't shuts down as Congress fails to vote on budget

11 February 2018, 10:24 | Devin Moran

Senior Democrat: 'Dreamers' issue unresolved but US government shutdown unlikely

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y. accompanied by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. left and others members of the House and Senate Democrats speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Was

Paul's protest forced Congress to miss a midnight deadline for passing a funding measure to keep the government operating. It would also authorize funds for disaster aid, community health centers, the Children's Health Insurance Program and fighting the opioid crisis.

This means that a short term shutdown of just a few hours could be over by the time government workers wake up Friday morning.

If that fails, the US government would suffer its second shutdown this year, after a partisan standoff over USA immigration policy led to a three-day partial shutdown last month.

"While President Trump threatens shutdowns and stalemates, congressional leaders have done the hard work of finding compromise and consensus", Schumer said.

The Senate on Thursday afternoon had been scheduled to vote on a budget deal struck by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Paul's fellow Kentucky Republican, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

The bill passed in a 240-186 vote in the House early morning despite opposition from most Democrats, who had sought a firmer commitment from Speaker Paul Ryan that he will bring immigration legislation to the floor for a vote that would protect immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation.

"I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this taken care of", Trump said.

But that wasn't enough to satisfy some of her base, and the leadership team sent conflicting messages, saying they weren't whipping the bill Wednesday, then sending a whip notice to vote no on Thursday.

Mr. Schumer said the Democrats' negotiating position had not changed: they were looking for increases in defense spending to be met with equivalent increases in domestic spending, or what they are now calling "middle class programs".

Bipartisan negotiations have yet to reach a deal on an overhaul of America's immigration laws, and Trump has rejected a proposal that would pair a DACA solution with limited border security enhancements. If you feel like we've been here before, that's because we have: the House has passed its fifth short-term spending bill since October. Yes. "The Bipartisan Budget Act provides non-defense discretionary spending levels higher than the administration deems necessary". Only 73 Democrats voted for the bill; 67 Republicans voted against it. She has been speaking on the House floor for hours, since about 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, to demand a commitment from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, on bringing immigration legislation to the House floor.

"We don't need a government shutdown on this", said Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., whose district in the Washington suburbs is home to many federal workers.

On Tuesday, the House passed a partisan bill that would fund government for six weeks - but fund the military through the remainder of fiscal year 2018. It would raise non-defense spending by $63 billion in fiscal year 2018, and $68 billion in fiscal year 2019. Senate Democratic leaders have dropped their strategy of using the funding fight to extract concessions on immigration, specifically on seeking extended protections for the "Dreamer" immigrants.

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