Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Close to the Brink on a Government Shutdown


"You're going to vote "no" and then shut down the government?" asked Rep. Mark Sanford, a Republican from SC, when asked if the House Freedom Caucus was doing little more than paving the way for a big increase in spending in a later deal by supporting short-term continuing resolutions.

But Republican leaders say they will not attach an immigration bill to the spending measure. In the past, GOP leaders have depended on Democratic support to help carry short-term funding bills through the House.

"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.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has previously said he wants to keep funding and immigration bills separate. Trump rejected a deal brought to him by bipartisan Senate negotiators on Thursday.

Meadows said that the while his group has not come out with an official position yet, the House Freedom Caucus will meet Tuesday night following a conference-wide GOP meeting.

There is no requirement to have a DACA deal completed by this week; the President had given Congress an early March deadline on what to do about hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant "Dreamers" who were shielded from deportation by the Obama Administration.

Trump said many things in that meeting, some of them contradictory.

He practically laid his authority in the hands of politicians saying that he will sign ANY agreement agreed on between Democrats and Republicans concerning Daca and comprehensive security!


On Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats have been in spending standoffs before.

Durbin intends to introduce the bipartisan agreement as legislation on Wednesday (Jan 17), spokesman Ben Marter said.

Democrats meanwhile are arguing that with a bipartisan immigration deal finished, Republicans should at the very least put it on the floor to avoid a shut down. It appears as though the five senators named above sold their votes when provisions were added that either lined their pockets or made them appear to be more re-electable.

But the politicking over who is to blame for a government shutdown is already well underway.

"The budget needs to be a separate item, we want a clean budget bill, we're still hopeful that can happen", she said.

I have watched this past year's political infighting with dismay ever since Donald Trump was elected - with a congressional majority to work with - and have seen the Republicans achieve only the following results: They have spoken out against and then unabashedly changed their positions by supporting an accused pedophile in Alabama, and are still backing a self-confessed sexual predator in the White House.

The Democrats have consistently supported help for those who genuinely need it with programs and education that protect our environment, our national parks, and preserve our climate and natural resources. But as one aide told me bluntly: "We're in the midst of a high stakes game of chicken - and nobody knows how this is going to end four days from now". What the homeland security secretaries called "sensible increases in border security funding" is a reasonable price to pay for making DACA permanent policy.

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

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