Brinkmanship: Congress Having Serious Trouble Reaching Spending Deal Ahead of Deadline

Christmas Tree is seen before the US Capitol Building during the ceremonial lighting of the 74-foot Lutz spruce, from the state of Alaska, on Capitol Hill December 2, 2015 in Washington, DC. / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read
Brendan Smilowski/AFP/Getty Images

Congress may pass a short extension to fund the government through the holidays, instead of passing a year-long budget.

Politico is reporting that “it appears increasingly likely that no deal will be in place by the Friday Dec. 11 deadline, meaning a short-term spending bill will have to be enacted in order to avoid a repeat of the 2013 shutdown.”

Several congressional aides have confirmed to Breitbart News that a rumor of a temporary extension is floating around Congress.

Senior aides in both parties say Republican leaders offered their Democratic counterparts a new funding proposal last Friday, but the latest offer produced no breakthrough and both sides continued negotiations through the weekend while making little headway. The two sides are hashing out policy riders covering Syrian refugees, environmental policy and oil exports, among other issues.

Republicans want to cut funding for President Obama’s refugee relocation, but according to Politico, “close to 100 House Democrats are protesting” that move.

“We should all agree that inserting wholesale changes to refugee admission policies into a year-end spending bill — where they cannot be properly debated or amended — is not the appropriate way to consider these issues,” House Democrats wrote in a letter.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), along with more than 70 other House members, have made it clear they want the spending bill to defund Obama’s Syrian refugee program.

Islamic terrorists have pledged to kill more Americans – and our current refugee program has vulnerabilities that invite ISIS sympathizers to exploit these loopholes to enter the U.S.,” Babin said in a statement to Breitbart News. “With the support of 74 of my colleagues, we’ve made it clear that a provision needs to be included in the upcoming spending bill that would defund and suspend Obama’s insane Syrian refugee plan.

In the face of Obama’s inaction, Congress must lead and force him to take these steps that put the safety and security of American citizens first.  The upcoming spending bill presents the best opportunity to ensure this happens.  As we are learning more details about the recent terrorist acts, we can see vulnerabilities in our refugee, visa and immigration programs.  Unfortunately, many of the ‘solutions’ being proposed — while are positive steps to take — fall short of what is needed to prioritize the security of the American people.

Gun control could also be a potential issue hampering negotiations, as Democrats insist on passing strict gun control legislation in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, which the FBI is investigating as a terrorist attack.

Politico also reports that expiring tax breaks are being debated.

One of the main holdups is that Democrats — especially House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California — want to “index” for inflation provisions aimed at families. Republicans have countered that they would support such a move only in return for ensuring the “integrity” of such programs, such as providing Social Security numbers for families seeking to use a child tax credit. So far, Democrats have said no.

Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is trying to prevent what happened in 2013 and avoid another government shutdown.

In an interview with Janesville’s 1380 AM, Ryan said, “It might take us more than just this week to get these issues put together correctly.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.