How three elections are snarling the immigration fight

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Conservatives are irked that Republican leaders have failed to reach a broader budget deal that funds the military for the rest of the fiscal year.

Friday's funding deadline looms as a rising number of Democrats say they will not support a spending bill that doesn't address the fate of the young recipients of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.

"We prepared a bill, a bipartisan bill that hit all four elements the president asked for", said Sen. These and other forces could peel off votes needed to get even a short-term bill through the House.

Trump indicated he would avoid endorsing candidates in Republican primaries, as he did past year in Alabama's Senate race, when the incumbent he endorsed was defeated by a hard-line conservative challenger, and would likely focus on the November general election in which Democrats are trying to wrest control of Congress from the Republicans.

Both sides blamed the other in case the bill doesn't pass and much of the federal government shuts down Saturday for lack of money amid a drama-filled battle over the fate of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, is one of a small group of conservatives opposed to the short-term funding bill and told reporters Wednesday he didn't believe GOP leaders had the votes to pass it because of the internal divisions.

Top White House aides, including chief of staff John Kelly, will head to Capitol Hill this week to sell a clean spending bill, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday, adding that Trump and the White House have "made it pretty clear we want a clean budget deal".

"The GOP strategy seeks to force Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of NY to decide whether this is the moment to force a showdown on immigration that results in a partial government shutdown in an election year", Bloomberg reported.

Those two issues - funding the government beyond Friday and extending an Obama-era program to protect some DREAMers from deportation - seem inexorably linked at this point. Leaders may tweak the plan more to win over a handful of conservative holdouts pushing for more military spending by including a pay raise for service members.

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The least controversial part of the negotiations: funding for community health centers and a children's health insurance program called CHIP.

Trump wrote on Twitter that if the government were shut down over amnesty and border security, the military would be the biggest loser.

"We're going to be bringing it to the floor this week".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would take up the bill as soon as the House approves it. "Now I'm not saying that they won't have the votes, but as of today, at this particular point, they do not have the votes", Meadows said.

While Republican leadership is expected to bring a continuing resolution - which includes a six-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and delays the Obamacare Cadillac tax and medical device tax - that runs through February 16 to the floor Thursday evening, it's unclear whether the measure has the votes to pass the Senate. "This was a deal that was unacceptable from the moment they started reading the provisions of the deal", Trump said.

In November, Trump-backed Republican candidate Ed Gillespie lost the Virginia governor's race to Democrat Ralph Northam.

"It's a political bombshell for Democrats because we have such momentum with Latino voters that we've seen in the off-cycle... we want to capitalize on that for 2018", said Chuck Rocha, a Democratic strategist who specializes in the Latino vote, said of the dilemma confronting Democrats.

"These are Americans in every single way except on paper", said Sen. The continuing resolution in December passed easily in a 66 to 32 vote (two senators were absent), with two Republicans voting against it and 17 Democratic caucus members voting for it. McConnell said any plan "will require the signature of the president".

"It is extremely hard to convince our caucus members to vote for another short-term funding mechanism", House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told CNN Monday afternoon. "I think they'll be very, very popular on the campaign trail".

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