House Passes Bill To Avert Shutdown For Two Weeks

Trump, Congressional Leaders Meeting on US Spending Issues

House Passes Bill To Avert Shutdown For Two Weeks

Congressional leaders from both parties plan budget talks with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi staked out a hard line on Thursday and insisted that any year-end deal would include help for immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the leadership was "receiving an update on our military by Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis".

U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a two-week stopgap spending bill one day before a deadline to avoid government shutdown. The bill prevents a shut-down that would be triggered if Congress fails to pass a spending bill before a deadline of midnight Friday.

"I want to see Senate action, and I think they owe it to the House to show us those next steps".

Pelosi and Schumer, in a joint statement, described the White House meeting as "productive".

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Many Democrats are vowing to vote against government funding legislation if it doesn't also provide deportation relief for Dreamers, the undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors. But GOP leaders needed those conservatives to support the measure in the House because Democrats broadly refused to vote for it. Fourteen Democrats supported the measure, however, while 18 Republicans were opposed.

While GOP leaders and conservatives say they are both eager to avoid a "distraction" that might derail tax reform legislation, they're struggling to reach a truce to avoid a government shutdown.

McConnell, R-Ky., said he was hoping that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Democrats "will continue to work with us in good faith to pass this short-term funding bill and maintain the critical functions of the federal government".

"It's kind of just basic governing, is keeping government going while we negotiate the finer details", Ryan told reporters Thursday morning.

With the government set to run out of money on midnight Friday, GOP leaders are moving forward with a short-term fix to give negotiations another two weeks to ink a larger long-term spending deal between Democrats, Republicans and the White House.

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Without Democrats, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is counting on his rank-and-file - including the House Freedom Caucus - to help keep government's doors open.

Freedom Caucus members pushed for a December 30 end date instead but ultimately settled for December 22 with a commitment from GOP leaders to push for increased funding for defense programs through 2018 on the next spending bill.

The Wisconsin Republican says, "I feel good where we are". Trump ended those protections this fall and Democrats are demanding that they be renewed in the year-end rush of business.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker said GOP lawmakers agreed to go along with a two-week bill after Ryan promised to push Democrats to pass the defense spending bill separately and to keep immigration and payments to Obamacare insurers out of the next stopgap.

With the budget chafing under spending caps imposed by a 2011 bipartisan budget deal, Democrats want defense and domestic programs to get equal funding increases.

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Many on both sides have decided a headline-grabbing federal closure would be a political blunder, at least for now.

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