Bill Passes House, but Shutdown Still Looms

Senate Democrats are expected to kill it
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2018 1:23 AM CST
Divided House Passes Short-Term Spending Bill
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks to reporters as she walks toward the Senate on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A government shutdown starting midnight Friday is looking like a strong possibility: A short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown was passed by the House Thursday evening, largely along party lines, but the measure appears unlikely to pass the Senate, Reuters reports. After a last-minute deal with the conservative House Freedom Caucus, the stopgap spending measure passed the House 230-197, with six Democrats in favor and 11 Republicans, mostly conservatives, voting against it, the AP reports. The bill funds the government through Feb. 16, but Senate Democrats, who are seeking a deal on DACA, have served notice that they plan to filibuster it. The bill needs 60 votes to pass the Senate, but at least 39 Democrats and two Republicans oppose it.

Democrats and Republicans are already trading blame for the likely shutdown. "President Trump wants to shut down the government over his cynical and misbegotten 'big beautiful wall,' which will be paid for by US taxpayers, not Mexico," Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said. Democrats' "demands on illegal immigration, at the behest of their far-left base, have crowded out all other important business," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, per the Washington Post. Other senators from both parties said they still hoped to reach a deal to prevent the first shutdown since 2013, the New York Times reports. "I don't want to play shutdown politics," said GOP Sen. Cory Gardner. "I think it's a bad idea and a pox on both parties." (If a shutdown happens, McConnell has a plan.)

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