House GOP Bid to Avert Shutdown Gains Steam as Deadline Nears

DACA advocates march near Trump Tower in August in New York City. The government says it will resume DACA renewals

But, so far, a deal appears no closer than when the day began.

But there are perils. But some House GOP defense hawks could vote no because they want lawmakers to approve long-term spending for the Pentagon.

Trump's own administration on Wednesday said it supported the legislation for a continuing resolution that included CHIP funding.

Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are banking on Democratic senators up for re-election in states that voted for Trump previous year to provide the nine votes needed to reach the 60-vote threshold to pass the House spending measure. And the White House director of legislative affairs, Marc Short, told reporters there was "no artificial timeline" for a deal on so-called Dreamers and that it would be "herculean" to get it done by this week.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the best course to resolve the brinkmanship is to get a compromise on immigration shaped around the bipartisan deal presented to Trump last week.

It was during Oval Office negotiations over a potential DACA replacement last week that, in the course of dismissing one deal negotiated by Senate Democrats and Republicans, Trump used a vulgar word to describe African countries and wondered why the US doesn't get more immigrants from places like Norway. Cory Booker of New Jersey, put on an impassioned show in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, skewering Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for saying she did not recall Trump using the word "shithole". Trump has responded that the media accounts are inaccurate and on Tuesday the president said he wanted immigrants to come to America from everywhere.

The big question will be whether Democrats need DACA more than children's health insurance, and whether they can make that argument stick in a shutdown.

Republican Senator Lindsay Graham on Tuesday blamed White House staff for altering Trump's positive view on the Senate bipartisan agreement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects the Dreamers.

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"Now that we have met this challenge with the only game in town, with the only bill that is bipartisan and addresses these key elements, it is time for them to include it in any CR deal that is brought before us at this time", Durbin told reporters, referring to the short-term funding bill by its initials. The group's leader, Representative Mark Meadows, said that while members dislike the short-term deal and would prefer added defense funding, the chances for a shutdown "are very unlikely because no one wants one". If a CR is not passed before Friday at midnight, funding for government operations would run out, and a politically perilous government shutdown would follow.

Many budget issues that should have been agreed upon before the end of past year were pushed into 2018 via a series of continuing resolutions, which used stopgap measures to delay the deadline.

Analyst Ed Mills at financial firm Raymond James said another short-term extension is expected. In a shutdown, vital government services like law enforcement and air traffic control would continue, as would benefit programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. "Should a shutdown occur, we do not expect much of a market reaction", Mills noted. Still, he said he plans to vote for the measure and expects it to have enough GOP support to pass the House.

Another Democratic Senator from a Trump-friendly state, Joe Donnelly, of IN, said he is "still looking at the process" for the continuing resolution that will need to pass both chamber this week.

Republican House leaders floated the idea Tuesday night, along with two-year delays for the Affordable Care Act's taxes on medical devices and health insurers, as well as the "Cadillac tax" on generous health plans. Dick Durbin and Rep. Stenny Hoyer. But it was not yet clear whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would schedule it for a floor debate and vote.

"The "Gang of Six" deal to fix DACA will not get a vote in the House or the Senate because POTUS will not sign it", Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn of Texas tweeted early Wednesday morning, despite President Donald Trump's promise last week that he would sign whatever deal Congress could come up with.

Frustrations over the immigration deadlock boiled over in NY, where three people were arrested protesting immigration policy, and in Washington, where police said 82 people were arrested in a Senate office building during a sit-in urging protection of immigrants.

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