US House passes stopgap spending bill to avoid gov't shutdown

Trump, Congressional Leaders Meeting on US Spending Issues

GOP leaders do not believe that's realistic since the Senate needs eight Senate Democrats to pass any long-term funding deal. Republicans have said they prefer to deal with DACA separately. Congressional leaders from both parties plan budget talks with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday.

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

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the leadership was "receiving an update on our military by Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis".

The House of Representatives approved stopgap legislation Thursday meant to avert a partial government shutdown ahead of a midnight Friday deadline.

A government shutdown would commence after Friday at midnight if Congress doesn't pass a spending bill by then.

Pelosi told reporters before the meeting that "We will not leave here" without helping the immigrants. But GOP leaders needed those conservatives to support the measure in the House because Democrats broadly refused to vote for it.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also say they hope to come to an agreement. 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.

Earlier in the day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that Democrats in her chamber would not vote for the measure because it lacked funding to address the opioid epidemic, the Children's Health Insurance Program, the Dream Act, emergency disaster relief and other items on the party's agenda. "I think it's just kind of just basic governing, is keeping government going while we negotiate the final details".

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The group is convening to continue negotiations on critical end-of-year spending legislation, with Democrats and Republicans deeply divided on defence and immigration priorities. Conservatives had threatened to oppose the legislation.

Without Democrats, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is counting on his rank-and-file - including the House Freedom Caucus - to help keep government's doors open.

"Until we get those assurances, we are just kicking a can down the road", said Republican Representative Andy Biggs, a member of the Freedom Caucus.

Congress seems set to prevent a weekend government shutdown.

To jumpstart that negotiating, Trump and congressional leaders agreed to meet Thursday an attempt to reach agreements.

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who chairs the 150-plus member Republican Study Committee, had been pushing for a spending bill that would provide funding through the end of the year. Both sides say they want to provide money for a health insurance program that serves more than 8 million children and for states battered by recent storms.

With the budget chafing under spending caps imposed by a 2011 bipartisan budget deal, Democrats want defense and domestic programs to get equal funding increases.

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