Democratic leader cites 'good progress' toward avoiding government shutdown

President Donald Trump showed signals of holding off funding for the construction of U.S. -Mexico border wall Monday, just days ahead of a government shutdown deadline.

Lawmakers are hoping that a stopgap measure will provide congressional leadership more time to negotiate a larger funding bill.

Senate and House Democrats have already warned Republicans that any attempt to pass funding for the border wall or other "poison pills" like defunding Planned Parenthood in the 2017 appropriations bill would be met with unified Democratic resistance - which would result in a shutdown.

"Instead of rushing through health care", Schumer told reporters, "they first ought to get the government funded for a full year - plain and simple". He also accused Democrats of "jeopardizing the safety of our troops" and wanting "illegals to pour through our borders".

Trump said a shutdown would be a "very negative thing" but that his administration was prepared if it was necessary.

Several issues remain unresolved.

But it was Republicans who this week jettisoned money for Trump's border wall because of widespread agreement that it should not be tied to the spending deal. A congressional aide confirmed Tuesday that Republicans had presented Democrats with a new legislative proposal that did not include any money for a border wall. Insurers are threatening to raise premiums if they don't get the subsidies and could further drop coverage in Obamacare markets.

GOP Speaker Paul Ryan and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi are at odds over a demand by Democrats to use the must-do measure to guarantee that payments continue to flow under the health care law to help low-income beneficiaries with out-of-pocket costs.

"Let's see how the White House deals with the next day or so", the member said.

In many cases, he appears to be backing away from the hardcore positions that appealed to his legions of cheering supporters who catapulted him into the White House.

On Thursday, Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told CNBC that he's hopeful there will be no shutdown but is unsure of where Democrats stand.

Funding for a border wall had been the biggest stumbling block to an agreement, which Republican and Democratic leaders have been working to reach for weeks. "The instability they would create in the markets would be monumental to themselves and their states", Crowley said.

After talking about bipartisanship to keep the government running, Crowley said, "What we've said in the past and continue to say, there will be no wall". The question is what Republicans have to give up to get there.

Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish said on a conference call Wednesday that the insurer could raise its rates by 20 percent if the subsidies aren't paid to insurers.

Mulvaney sparred with Pelosi over the phone on Tuesday evening over health care and in a series of public statements on Wednesday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC, said Trump's interest in legislating is a good thing, but he did offer a warning.

"These payments were never authorized by Congress, were not included in previous spending bills, and the Obama administration made these payments in violation of the law", Graham said. "That's something separate that the Administration does", Ryan said.

"I think that, obviously, was a bit of a surprise to some of the Democrats, who now have to calculate whether or not they can fashion some fake controversy for us to fight over to shut the government down and blame us", Priebus said.

Democrats praised a $2 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health - rejecting steep cuts proposed by Trump - as well as additional funds to combat opioid abuse and fund Pell Grants for summer school.

  • Salvatore Jensen