House Passes Two-Week Stopgap Bill to Keep Government Funded

From left Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise R-La. and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif. meet with reporters after House Republicans held a closed-door strategy session as the deadline looms to pass a spen

Spokesmen for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said GOP leaders "stressed the need to address border security, interior enforcement and other parts of our broken immigration system", adding that the tricky immigration issue "should be a separate process and not used to hold hostage funding for our men and women in uniform". He blamed Democrats, saying they want "illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime".

"We're all here as a very friendly, well-unified group".

Behind the scenes, top Democrats and Republicans are preparing for a Thursday negotiating session with Trump over a long-term budget deal. The Senate began a vote to send the measure to President Donald Trump.

In a later meeting with reporters, Pelosi offered a list of reasons - including defense spending - for not supporting the CR deal.

Pelosi also told reporters Thursday that lawmakers "will not leave here" without a deal to help immigrants who came to the USA illegally as children and are enrolled in the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump ended three months ago.

Most House Democrats were likely to oppose the short-term bill, but enough were expected to support it in the Senate to allow its passage there, with the idea that Democrats would have some leverage to insist on future spending boosts for health care, infrastructure and other domestic programs that would match increases Republicans want for defense. But after the Republican caucus met Tuesday, Walker said he could be "OK" with a bill that ended December 22 if Republican leaders were willing to negotiate with conservatives on the next phase of crafting a budget for the rest of the fiscal year. I'm asking: "what have you done the last eight?" said the Georgia Republican, who is close with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

The drama over whether the House will pass legislation preventing a weekend partial government shutdown is essentially over.

The delay underscored the clout that conservatives wield within the House GOP as the party aims to push legislation through the House and Senate this week to keep federal agencies functioning.

The two week extension would give Democrats and Republicans time to negotiate spending issues.

Meadows says they want to avoid distractions from the tax bill Republicans plan to push through Congress this month.

Mr. Meadows said he spoke to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) during the vote and that they had a "good conversation" about the duration of the short-term spending bill.

"If a shutdown happens as the president seemed to be rooting for earlier in his tweet this year, it will fall on his shoulders", he said on the Senate floor Thursday.

The two Democrats said in a statement that nothing specific had been agreed at the meeting, which included a briefing from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis about military issues. It's not been received well, especially since the House GOP has passed spending bills that have gone unnoticed by the Senate.

In order to raise spending levels for the military and domestic programs for a longer-term spending deal, both chambers have to reach an agreement to lift spending limits set by a 2011 law.

Related News: