Friday, January 19, 2018

The House of Representatives seemed poised to pass a bill to keep the government open until 16 February

House of Representatives seemed poised to pass a bill to keep the government open until 16 February, after promising conservatives a vote on a major increase in defense spending, a hard-line immigration bill as well as other unnamed concessions that the conservative House Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows called “subplots” on Thursday night.
However, this legislation would likely be dead on arrival in the Senate, where Democrats have said they have enough votes to block the legislation. But, by passing the House, it would allow Republicans to attempt to shift the blame for a potential government shutdown to Democrats.
An impasse would result in Donald Trumpmarking his first anniversary in office with the first government shutdown in four years, even though his party controls Congress. In the event of a shutdown, most government services would freeze and most federal workers would go unpaid.
Negotiations over the budget stalled in recent days, amid a dispute over spending priorities and immigration.
The breakdown of talks kicked off a pre-emptive blame game in Washington, with Trump and Republicans pointing a finger at Democrats for insisting that any compromise include protections for nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters during a visit to the Pentagon on Thursday. “It’s up to the Democrats.”
The president’s decision to stop by the US Department of Defense, as Republican leaders in Congress crafted a contingency plan in the event of a shutdown, underscored the political urgency.
There has never been a government shutdown, which would cost the US an estimated $6.5bn a week and stifle economic progress, when one party has controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House.
Source: theguardian

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