Congress Sends Government Funding Bill to President Trump to Avoid Shutdown

Pelosi, Ryan, Pence, Trump, McConnell, Schumer
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The House and Senate passed a government spending bill on Thursday that would stave off a government funding showdown until December 22.

The House passed the government spending bill 235-193, mostly along party lines. Conservatives such as Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Justin Amash (R-MI), and Scott Perry (R-PA) voted against the government funding bill.

The Senate quickly passed the government funding bill after the House passed their version of it.

The temporary government spending measure will give two weeks for Republicans and Democrats to negotiate a budget deal. Congress will attempt to craft a spending package that will fund the government through the 2018 fiscal year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the government funding bill would “provide us with the time we need to complete discussions on a long-term solution.”

Republicans hope that by funding the government for a two-week period, they can have more time to negotiate on long-term spending programs and focus on passing the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act before Christmas.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) hope to include some form of amnesty for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal aliens in one of the government spending bills before DACA’s March deadline to be reversed as policy.

Speaker Paul Ryan said, “I think it’s kind of just basic governing is keeping the government going while we negotiate the final details.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced ahead of the vote that Democrats will not support the two-week spending bill. Pelosi argued that although Democrats do not want to see a government shutdown, but they will not vote for the spending bill because the legislation does not include amnesty for DACA illegal aliens, funding for the opioid crisis, and increased relief for areas affected by Hurricanes in 2017.

“This is a waste of time,” Pelosi argued in a press conference.

“We will not leave here without a DACA fix,” Pelosi added.

President Donald Trump met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker Paul Ryan, as well as Pelosi and Schumer on Thursday to discuss a two-year budget deal.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) did not officially back the spending bill on Thursday morning. However, Schumer suggested that they made progress on budget negotiations.

“Congressional negotiators are making good headway on a budget deal that would meet our commitments to our military and also urgent priorities here at home,” Schumer said on the Senate floor on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, the progress here in Congress is in stark contrast to the rhetoric coming from the White House. President Trump again suggested yesterday that ‘a shutdown could happen,’” Schumer explained. “If a shutdown happens, as the president seemed to be rooting for in a tweet earlier this year, it will fall on his shoulders. His party controls the Senate, the House, and the presidency.”

President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that if Schumer and Pelosi continue to push for amnesty for illegal aliens, the government could shut down.

“The Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country,” Trump told reporters. “They are looking at shutting down. … They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bring[ing] with them crime, tremendous amounts of drugs.”

President Trump added that a government shutdown “could happen” if Republicans and Democrats fail to reach a deal over funding the government.