House approves month-long funding, Senate to vote on potential govt shutdown

Carla Harmon
January 19, 2018

U.S. Department of the Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said that if a shutdown occurs, the department would allow "limited access wherever possible" to national parks, adding that war memorials and open-air parks in Washington, D.C., would remain open to the public.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called on Schumer to avoid a government shutdown, saying: "It is risky".

Democrats are confident that voters will blame Republicans if the government shuts down as they control both bodies of Congress and the White House.

"I really believe the Democrats want a shutdown to get off the subject of the tax cuts", he said, "because they're doing so well".

Republican Senator Jeff Flake said he was promised a vote on "dreamer" - or DACA - legislation by the end of this month, but suggested that has been complicated by President Trump's uncertain stance on the issue. Many have been educated in the United States and know no other country.

The House on Thursday passed a GOP-backed short-term spending bill that would fund the government through February 16. "Democrats are angry, they are organized and they are voting and Republicans aren't and if that doesn't change we are going to get our butts whipped in 2018".

The continuing resolution includes funding the federal government for 28 days, as well as the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program for six years. The only bipartisan DACA bill in the Senate was tossed aside by Republican leadership earlier in the week.

The House of Representatives is due to vote on the spending measure on Thursday afternoon. The motion will now go to the Senate.

Arriving at the Pentagon for a visit, Trump told reporters the government "could very well" shut down Friday.

Still, Senate Democrats said they have the votes to block the measure in their chamber. In a speech on the Senate floor following the vote, McConnell claimed the Democrats' refusal to pass any spending bill that does not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program is just grandstanding, since Dreamers have about six weeks before they lose their protection from deportation. Shortly before the vote, the House Freedom Caucus said a majority of its members had voted to approve the measure, making passage more certain. Shuttered parks became a symbol of Washington dysfunction during the last shutdown. At that juncture, he said he would do everything in his power to blunt this threat; after all, so many Virginians - federal workers as well as private employees - would suffer the consequences of such a move.

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