If Democratic and Republican negotiators lock in an agreement to raise budget caps on defense spending and non-defense domestic spending, that will open up everything else.
But even with congressional optimism about averting a shutdown this week running high, President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for a shutdown if lawmakers do not sign off on increased funding for boarder security. At a White House meeting on Tuesday, President Trump saw the bright side. In the meantime, the government shuts down in less than 72 hours. "I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of". "Not there yet and there are a lot of technical details to lock in, but we're on track".
The Republican-controlled House passed a 515-page stopgap bill on a largely party-line 245 to 182 vote Tuesday evening to keep government open until March 23. Lawmakers need to work out a spending measure before Thursday to prevent another government shutdown.
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"If that's the choice they make then certainly we'll have to deal with it on Wednesday or Thursday if the bill comes back", Republican Representative Mark Meadows, head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters.
"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.
That plan is expected to lock in increases for domestic and military spending for two years.
Democrats want any long-term funding increase to bump defense and non-defense spending equally, while the GOP wants a much larger increase for defense. If Republicans agree, it could ease the way for a broad, bipartisan Senate vote on the spending plan.
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Lawmakers have largely separated the current funding fight from the debate over immigration after the issue derailed budget talks last month and led to a three-day government shutdown. And they may be complicated by something White House chief of staff John Kelly said to reporters during a visit to Capitol Hill. Their status has been in jeopardy since the Trump administration announced in September it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era initiative that has protected almost 800,000 of them from deportation.
Those protections were thrown into doubt a year ago when President Donald Trump ordered DACA halted on March 5, saying Congress should come up with a legislative solution.
But why did this happen in the first place?
A short time later, administration spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president did not want a shutdown - despite his statements suggesting otherwise.
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"I don't see a government shutdown coming, but I do see a promise by Senator McConnell to finally bring this critical issue that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in America, finally bringing it to a full debate in the Senate", Durbin said. So long as the federal government is funded, he'll bring some kind of DACA bill to the floor; as for which one, he specifically referenced the ongoing negotiations between the No. 2 leaders in both parties and both chambers. 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.