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House Democrats Shifting Away From Amnesty-or-Shutdown Threat

08 December 2017

Conservatives opposed to a two-week spending bill almost derailed a key procedural vote Monday night enabling the House to begin negotiations with the Senate over the tax bill.

The immigrants are viewed sympathetically by the public and most lawmakers but face deportation in a few months because Trump reversed administrative protections provided to them by former President Barack Obama.

"We can't achieve permanency in everything". The leaders were invited over by the president last week, but the Democrats backed out after Trump tweeted that a deal on government funding wasn't likely and called them "weak on crime", among other insults. Under the rules, the Senate can not pass legislation that adds to long-term budget deficits.

Check back for updates on this developing story and read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

House conservatives had raised objections to the current plan to extend funding until December 22 before reaching a longer-term deal because they worry the pressure to leave town right before Christmas will give Democrats leverage to get more of their priorities included in a spending bill at that time.

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The White House says the leaders were taken to the Situation Room for a briefing by Mattis on military matters.

Trump said Thursday that he hopes the group will make good progress as they prepare to discuss plans to avert a government shutdown and reach an end-of-year budget agreement.

In a later meeting with reporters, Pelosi offered a list of reasons - including defense spending - for not supporting the CR deal.

It praised Pelosi and Schumer for choosing to "put their responsibility to the American people above partisanship" and said Trump was anticipating productive talks between "leaders who put their differences aside".

Members of the Freedom Caucus and defense hawks in Congress are pushing leadership to commit to passing a separate defense spending bill alongside a second CR to fund the rest of the government, raising concerns that short-term bills are harmful for the military. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference on Thursday that it is one of the party's priorities.

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From left, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., meet with reporters after House Republicans held a closed-door strategy session as the deadline looms to pass a spending bill to fund the government by week's end, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.

The drama over whether the House will pass legislation preventing a weekend partial government shutdown is essentially over. Unlike the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and overhaul the tax code, Republicans need 60 votes in the Senate to pass government funding.

Meadows says they want to avoid distractions from the tax bill Republicans plan to push through Congress this month.

Mr. Meadows said he spoke to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) during the vote and that they had a "good conversation" about the duration of the short-term spending bill.

While many Democrats seemed likely to oppose the short-term bill, enough were expected to support it in the Senate to allow its passage there.

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Without legislation, many agencies would run out of money after midnight Friday and grind to a close.

House Democrats Shifting Away From Amnesty-or-Shutdown Threat