Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

House approves stop-gap government funding bill

House approves stop-gap government funding bill

U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a two-week stopgap spending bill one day before a deadline to avoid government shutdown.

At the start of Thursday's meeting, Trump asked Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to speak as well, as he joined the congressional leaders gathered at the White House.

Republicans can pass such a measure in the House with only GOP votes because they require just a simple majority, but with approximately 40 conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus usually opposed to spending bills, House Democrats have been needed to pass such measures in recent years. Republicans have said they prefer to deal with DACA separately.

President Donald Trump and Democratic and Republican congressional leaders are sounding an optimistic tone as they sit down at the White House.

Republican leaders in the House have released a short-term continuing resolution bill that would keep the government operating at the current funding levels for the next two weeks while they negotiate a longer-term spending deal.

"We're having a conversation with our members about what we think the best way forward is", he told reporters.

McConnell, R-Ky., said he was hoping that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Democrats "will continue to work with us in good faith to pass this short-term funding bill and maintain the critical functions of the federal government".

During a press conference Tuesday, Ryan praised the bill passed by the Senate early Saturday morning.

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Democrats are seeking permanent legal status for so-called DREAMers as part of a long-term government funding deal. It praised Pelosi and Schumer for choosing to "put their responsibility to the American people above partisanship" and said Trump was anticipating productive talks between "leaders who put their differences aside".

In further indication of the problems GOP leaders face, 34 House Republicans sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., urging him to hold a vote by year's end on extending protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who arrived in the USA illegally as children.

A key House Republican leader acknowledges that some tax cuts in the sweeping tax legislation must expire to comply with Senate budget rules.

"There is a whole lot more pressure to get home for Christmas than there is for New Year's", Rep. Mark Meadows (R., N.C.), chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told reporters after the vote. "You'll see when we bring the bill to the floor".

The conservative House Freedom Caucus is pushing Ryan to try to force Democrats to accept higher military funding without any increase in domestic funding.

"I want to avoid a headline that says President Trump's administration just passes the highest spending levels in US history", Meadows told two reporters.

Many on both sides have decided a headline-grabbing federal closure would be a political blunder, at least for now. Democrats are demanding that the caps on non-defense and defense spending be raised equally.

"His party controls the Senate, the House and the presidency", he said. CHIP, which has nearly always been a bipartisan priority, expired over two months ago, but Congressional Republicans continued to play games with this vital program that helps the most vulnerable children in our society ... There are also demands for money for battling opioid abuse.

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