WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress and legislation to avert a government shutdown (all times local):
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer says there’s “very, very strong” sentiment among Democrats to oppose a four-week government-wide funding bill that’s slated for a House vote Thursday.
Democrats have generally support previous stopgap measures, but Schumer said Wednesday that an “overwhelming number” of Senate Democrats “don’t like this deal and they believe if we kick the can down the road this time, we’ll be back where we started.”
Democrats are pressing to add to the measure protections for younger immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Negotiations on that measure are proceeding slowly, however.
Schumer says that if there is a shutdown starting this weekend the public will blame Republicans. He says, “if there is one, it will fall on the Republicans’ backs, plain and simple.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan is pressuring Democrats to back a bill preventing a weekend government shutdown and says “cool heads hopefully will prevail.”
The Wisconsin Republican is also declining to say if there are enough GOP votes to approve that bill.
Ryan tells reporters he won’t bring separate immigration legislation to the House floor unless President Donald Trump supports it. He says Trump is being “completely rational” in demanding that such a bill have stronger border security provisions.
Many Democrats won’t back a bill this week aimed at temporarily financing federal agencies and keeping government open until the two sides reach agreement on protecting young immigrants from deportation.
Ryan says Democrats shouldn’t block a spending bill providing money for the military and children’s health insurance to get their way on immigration.
Hard-line conservatives are threatening to scuttle Republican leaders’ plans to prevent a weekend government shutdown, saying GOP leaders now lack the votes to push their proposal through the House.
The setback comes as a deal between President Donald Trump and Congress to protect young immigrants from deportation also remains distant.
Republican leaders are racing against a Friday deadline for pushing a short-term spending bill through Congress. If they fail, federal agencies will start shutting their doors over the weekend — an election-year debacle that GOP leaders and many Democrats are eager to avoid for fear of alienating voters.
North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, the leader of the Freedom Caucus, says its members want added money for the military in the short-term spending bill.