White House backs off as lawmakers work to avert shutdown

Cheryl Sanders
April 27, 2017

If Congress can not agree to either a short stopgap funding bill or a longer-term one by midnight Friday, federal agencies will run out of money and likely have to abruptly lay off hundreds of thousands of federal government workers until an appropriations bill is enacted.Many policymakers are nervous about a repeat of 2013, when the government was shuttered for 17 days.Even though Trump's fellow Republicans control both chambers of Congress, they only have 52 seats in the Senate.

"That discussion actually starts as soon as this bill is signed", Mulvaney said.

Democrats in Congress appear to have gained the upper hand in the latest budget negotiations to avoid a government shutdown this Friday.

The bloc of roughly 36 hard-line conservatives - which sidelined the previous Republican attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act - on Wednesday threw its support behind the party's revised health care plan.

Having an outsider Republican president in the White House has not eliminated those divisions, as has already become clear from the House's failure to advance a health care bill.

But that was enough to convince House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who had clashed with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney over the issue, to dial down the threats of a government shutdown.

From Pelosi: "Our major concerns in these negotiations have been about funding for the wall and uncertainty about the CSR payments crucial to the stability of the marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act".

To gain support for the bill, bargainers from the GOP's conservative and moderate camps have proposed letting states get federal waivers to ignore coverage requirements that Obama's statute has imposed on insurers.

Ever since he declared his candidacy, President Donald Trump has stood by the fiction that he somehow could make Mexico pay for the wall he wants to build along the U.S. -Mexico border.

"There are probably still 70 poison pills in the bill that we can't live with", Pelosi said. Otherwise, he said. there has been "good progress" in the ongoing negotiations. "And the Democrats have to determine that there are a lot of things in that bill that they want as well", Blunt said.

"It's not insurmountable" the aide said, but admitted the talks "are going slower than expected". The former reality star has revealed his culinary tastes on various social media platforms - eating a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken while reading The Wall Street Journal and indulging in a McDonald's burger and fries to celebrate winning the Republican presidential nomination. "He ought to do it", Hoyer told reporters.

The U.S. Congress was moving closer to crafting a deal to avoid shutting down at the stroke of midnight on Friday, but the details and even broad strokes of an agreement were still murky. There's an unconventional new president in the White House and Republicans have a lock on Congress, but Washington is still up to its old tricks.Just as occurred rep.

Trump said he had not changed his stance, tweeting on Tuesday: "It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc".

Luis Videgaray, Mexico's foreign relations secretary, joined the chorus of wall detractors, calling the president's plan an "unfriendly, hostile" act that undermines the good relationship enjoyed by the US and Mexico.

House Republican leaders remain intentionally vague about a date on healthcare legislation, in an attempt to avoid an "artificial deadline" that can not be met. Republicans were embarrassed after Speaker Paul Ryan canceled a scheduled vote on the healthcare bill because it lacked support.

Other reports by iNewsToday