Congress seems set to avert weekend government shutdown

Trump says government shutdown possible

Trump says government shutdown possible

"Look, there's not going to be a government shutdown", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to ABC.

"The meeting was scheduled for Thursday, a day before funding for the federal government is due to run out". But their power is strongest while the Republicans in Congress remain fractured and fighting.

The December 8 deadline to agree on a federal spending measure is rapidly approaching, and the pressure to avoid a government shutdown is intensifying.

Moreover, the budget impasse problem actually lies not with Democrats but at the heart of the ongoing rift in the Republican party. But many also want to limit government spending.

Democrats have been using their leverage to insist on spending boosts for health care, infrastructure and other domestic programs that would match increases Republicans want for defense.

As a condition of backing a new spending measure, Democrats have demanded legislative protections for the almost 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States. The written statement said Trump was glad the two top Democrats had chose to "put their responsibility to the American people above partisanship" and said Trump was anticipating productive talks between "leaders who put their differences aside".

"Democrats are really looking at something very risky for our country", Trump told reporters at the White House. While a partial government shutdown would keep emergency services and the military mainly operating, thousands of operations would be suspended, such as the operation of national parks. But a core of conservative Republicans who consistently vote against funding bills in their drive for smaller government could balk.

The GOP will need Democratic votes to push the spending bills through Congress, another reason the pathway is unclear for averting a closure just weeks before the start of the 2018 election year. Democrats have leverage because a bill needs 60 votes in the Senate to pass.

Their bid is likely to be rejected by Democrats, who make up a minority in Congress, and could further complicate behind-the-scenes negotiations by congressional leaders that have been going on for months aimed at figuring out government spending for the fiscal year that began on October 1. Democrats will test the unpredictable president to see whether he is willing to go the bipartisan route in order to keep federal agencies running smoothly or whether he will be in a confrontational mood.

Hours before Trump and Capitol Hill leaders were to hold a budget meeting last Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., abruptly called off the session.

Republicans would blame Democrats. "They are looking at shutting down, they want to have illegal immigrants, in many cases people that we don't want in our country".

Republicans already are trying to exploit possible differences among Democrats over whether to link support for the stopgap spending bill to the immigration measure. Congress is expected to vote on the measure this week.

Whatever the length of the initial short-term spending measure, it seems likely that a second temporary bill stretching into January would also be needed for a final pact addressing spending, hurricane aid and perhaps immigration.

The deadline to pass a funding measure before the government shuts down is Friday. A second step would be another short-term funding bill, followed by one to fund the government through the fiscal year ending September 30.

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