House votes to avert government shutdown, path in Senate unclear
- Author: Leroy Wright Jan 19, 2018,
Jan 19, 2018, 18:56
The measure, which funds the government only through February 16, passed the House 230 to 197 as several conservative Republicans agreed to approve it late in the process.
The 230-197 vote came just over a day before current funding is set to run out at midnight Friday.
President Trump and GOP leaders tamped down a conservative rebellion and pushed a stopgap spending bill through the House late Thursday, setting up a shutdown showdown in the Senate with a Friday deadline looming.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday night approved on a temporary government funding bill that would avert a government shutdown on Saturday while reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program for six years and suspending an Affordable Care Act tax on medical devices that several OH manufacturers oppose.
A little less than two hours after the House vote, the Senate voted unanimously to start debate on the House-passed bill, but put off any votes on the bill until Friday. "The only people standing in the way of keeping the government open are Senate Democrats".
Republicans were demanding that a separate budget bill financing government for the rest of this year include big boosts for the military, and they accused Democrats of imperiling Pentagon funding.
The mixed messages from the White House prompted a rebuke Wednesday from frustrated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. House Speaker Paul Ryan immediately summoned reporters to try to pin the blame on top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of NY.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the State Department is "ready" if the federal government shuts down.
KELLY: All right, so a lot of question marks still in terms of what President Trump might be willing to sign, a lot of question marks in terms of how this may all be play out - playing out in the Senate tomorrow - I mean, we're looking toward tomorrow.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and his lieutenants were up against the clock and their own ranks as they scrambled to lock down votes. A White House spokesman, Raj Shah, said that the president supports the House's stopgap bill. But after initially responding to these efforts warmly, Trump backtracked when, reportedly, some hardliners in his administration such as Chief of Staff John Kelly, who many once thought would be a voice of moderation on this issue, told him to knock it off.
GOP lawmakers had spent the morning trying to make sense of several early-morning tweets by Trump that seemed to contradict Republicans' legislative strategy.
"Chip should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 day, or short term, extension!"
According to Politico, Durbin said that Trump's words were "so bad and so impactful" for so many people that he felt compelled to speak out after the president denied the comment. That's why they have attached a six-year extension of CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) that covers 9 million kids to the House government spending bill sans a DACA fix to force Democrats to swallow it.
White House spokesman Raj Shah added in a Thursday statement that "Congress needs to do its job and provide full funding of our troops and military with a two-year budget caps deal".
"Take this election", Jones, "take this election where the people of Alabama said we want to get something done, we want you to find common ground, we want you to talk". A pile of unfinished Capitol Hill business has been on hold, first as Republicans ironed out last fall's tax bill and now as Democrats insist on progress on immigration.
"Even so, most Democrats were ready to oppose the legislation, and GOP conservatives were threatening to defect as well". What changes do they want to see to vote yes?
"I think there are enough Senate Democrats like me that want to pressure but avoid a shutdown", he added.