Shutdown watch: Key House vote Tuesday but Senate changes expected

To appease Democrats, Republicans are considering attaching two years of funding for health centers, according to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would "love" to see another government shutdown as Republicans and Democrats in Congress worked to reach a budget deal that would prevent federal agencies from having to close their doors this week.

But aides and lawmakers suggest the Senate might respond with a long-awaited spending pact to give whopping increases to the Pentagon and domestic programs.

Democrats had said they wanted to see more assurances on immigration negotiations before moving ahead with the caps deal, but rank-and-file Republicans said they sensed more flexibility from Democrats in recent days.

How did things go so bad so quickly for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his party?

"There are still some outstanding issues to be resolved, but we are closer to an agreement than we have ever been", Schumer announced on the Senate floor.

Lacking the votes to approve the temporary spending measure paired with long-term military funding, the Senate could strip out the military portion and send the measure back to the House.

"I don't think that's going to happen", McConnell said about the prospects of a shutdown. This provision is created to get conservatives on board who are concerned about short-term funding bills' effect on military readiness and long-term planning.

Shutdown watch: Key House vote Tuesday but Senate changes expected
Shutdown watch: Key House vote Tuesday but Senate changes expected

"Republicans must stop governing from manufactured crisis to crisis, and work with Democrats to pass the many urgent, long overdue priorities of the American people", she said in a statement Monday.

Given that negotiations on DACA and a two-year budget agreement are ongoing, Congress is unlikely to produce a budget deal until late March, which means the FY 2018 omnibus spending bill won't be fully baked until April. The calendar could play a part in deliberations this week; Congressional Democrats are set to depart Capitol Hill on Wednesday for a party retreat in Cambridge, Maryland, featuring Vice President Joe Biden as keynote speaker.

Instead, Republicans have been working privately in groups, including in a coalition with Senate Democrats that is meeting again Monday, to float alternatives. "Governing is not a merry-go-round", he said. He told a House committee Tuesday that without stable funding the Pentagon won't be able to pay troops, recruit needed soldiers and airmen, adequately maintain ships or keep enough ammunition on hand to deter war.

But if the parties can not reach an agreement in the next two days, it is wholly unclear how a shutdown might be averted. And so the next stopgap spending bill - the fifth since the fiscal year began last October 1 - could be the last as decisions that simply cannot be put off forever pile up. In the near future, lawmakers also need to raise the debt limit. They met Tuesday morning in an effort to bring the talks toward closure, with Schumer reporting "real progress". Chris Coons planned to propose legislation Monday that would shield from deportation immigrants who entered the USA illegally as children, known as "Dreamers" helped by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

"I know there continues to be discussions on the spending caps and I'm hoping that dam will break and we can get a lot of this overdue business taken care of", Sen.

The CR, as written, is expected to clear the House, but it will undergo changes in the Senate. Coons told reporters that his bill could serve as the underlying measure to form the foundation of that debate, calling it a "strong starting point". Democrats had firm control of both the House and the Senate. Nor would it increase border security or provide funding for a southern border wall.

Democrats have expressed concern that Trump might use the memo as an excuse to fire Rosenstein and Special Counsel Robert Mueller III.

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