Shutdown Imminent? Bitter Divisions Remain As Lawmakers Scramble To Pass Funding Bill

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Dec 6, 2017

Lawmakers are just two days away from the expiration of the continuing resolution that’s been funding the government for the last two months, and yet many battles over a host of intractable issues are still being fought. At this point, passing something by midnight Friday – when the continuing resolution expires -is looking increasingly problematic.

Adding to the uncertainty are reports that President Donald Trump believes a shutdown could be spun as a political victory for Republicans by blaming it on the Democrats (it worked for Obama) – remarks that would seem to invalidate Mitch McConnell’s declaration that a shutdown “just isn’t going to happen.”

Looming largest over negotiations is the fate of former President Obama’s DACA program – which is set to expire in March thanks to a Trump executive order. Most – but not all – Democrats want language preserving DACA attached to the funding bill – as a preliminary deal struck between Trump and “Chuck and Nancy” back in September had stipulated. Many Republicans – even many of those who ultimately support preserving DACA – feel it shouldn’t be attached to the spending bill.

Aside from preserving DACA, there are two other legislative priorities that Democrats and some moderate Republicans are fighting to include in the spending bill: An extension of a popular child health-insurance program, and a provision that would preserve federal cost-sharing payments to insurance companies for a couple of years.

Meanwhile, some conservatives are objecting to the two-week timeline favored by the Republican leadership, arguing that such a short timeline would give lawmakers more leverage to push for favors by threatening to make problems by holding tax reform hostage – something Republicans have promised to pass by the end of the year.

Here’s RealClearPolitics:

Democrats, and several dozen moderate Republicans, want to see a legislative solution for immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children — known as “Dreamers” — before the end of the year. Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate also hope to pass bipartisan legislation to shore up the Affordable Care Act marketplace, and lawmakers hope to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Also lingering are the expiring federal flood insurance program, and another round of disaster relief money for areas damaged by hurricanes.

The Rest…HERE

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