Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Republicans in US Congress push for vote to avoid shutdown

Republicans in US Congress push for vote to avoid shutdown

Trump and Congress are attempting to reach a deal on comprehensive immigration reform as part of a federal spending bill that Congress must pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. Instead, he said, the USA should allow more immigrants from countries like Norway. The House funding bill includes a six-year renewal of the popular Children's Health Insurance Program, which GOP leaders included as a potential sweetener to get the votes they need to pass the stop-gap measure.

The federal government is running on its third temporary spending bill since the fiscal year of 2018, which began on October 1, 2017 and is set to expire on January 19. And then we can build trust with the American people that we've done our jobs, we've improved security, we've fixed the challenge these "Dreamers" face and we can do in a way the President signs with the majority of Republican and Democratic support.

With a federal court order from last week temporarily blocking President Donald Trump's move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the immigration agency in charge of that effort announced that it would again accept applications to renew DACA requests, as President Trump chided Democrats on Sunday over the political impasse on the issue. Republicans are in charge, Schumer said, and blame for a government shutdown would fall on them. "And I think this man, this President, is taking us back to another place", the Georgia Democrat said on ABC's "This Week".

The chances of an immigration bill passing this week appeared to slip away, however, after Trump rejected an earlier version last week and ignited an worldwide firestorm by reportedly using vulgar language to question why, under the proposal, the US would continue to accept immigrants from Haiti and African countries. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas tweeted on Wednesday that it will not receive a vote in the House or Senate. But this is one of those rare moments when the best course of action for both Republicans and Democrats is to ignore the president.

"I'm looking for something that President Trump supports, and he's not yet indicated what measure he's willing to sign", McConnell told reporters. A program Trump has been trying to end since coming into office.

He also told Democrats that any deal to preserve DACA, which protects about 800,000 young immigrants, must also include funding for his much-touted "Great Wall" on the U.S. border with Mexico.

However, a mix of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate who oppose the House bill for varying reasons left the legislation on the verge of defeat.

Sanders put the blame on Senate Democrats if the government is shut down, due to their insistence on a bill to fix DACA.

The Republican-controlled House approved funding through February 16 on a mostly partisan vote of 230-197, sending the stopgap bill to the Senate for consideration as President Donald Trump pushed hard for a measure to sign before Friday's deadline. Democrats also insist that any budget increases for the military be matched for domestic spending.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Tuesday that the earlier version of the Senate immigration proposal failed to include enough money for border security.

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