'Shutdown coming?': Crunch time as U.S. funding deadline nears

Congress Likely Racing Toward a Government Shutdown

Congress Likely Racing Toward a Government Shutdown

President is getting personally engaged in the talks to end a government shutdown, holding an afternoon meeting at the White House Friday with Senate Minority Leader.

Trump called several Democrats on Friday to try to win Senate passage of a funding extension that had been pushed through the House of Representatives on Thursday by a vote of 230 to 197, White House officials said. They said the White House remained hopeful that a deal would be reached, arguing that Democrats would be blamed for a shutdown.

Democrats in the Senate have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that cleared the House on Thursday evening.

Senate Democrats - and a few Republicans -appeared poised to kill a Republican spending bill that would keep the federal government funded through February 16, and lawmakers are locked in an increasingly bitter stalemate over a broader spending deal. "Shutdown coming? We need more Republican victories in 2018!"

That raises the risk that the partial government shutdown could be a long one and have more serious economic consequences than investors expect.

A GOP aide said McCarthy won't attend the World Economic Forum in Davos if the government shuts down.

Both men, who pride themselves on their deal-making abilities, emerged from the meeting at the White House without an agreement, and Republicans and Democrats in Congress continued to trade blame as the midnight deadline approached.

While it's unusual for the media to cast a shutdown as the fault of Democrats, it's important to note Democrats themselves are claiming responsibility for this.

Funding runs out at 12 a.m. on Saturday if a deal can't be made in time.

Mulvaney spoke to reporters at the White House Friday as the prospect of a shutdown loomed.

"Unfortunately, this legislation wouldn't have kept the dreamers here", he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the move, arguing that "there are no provisions (in the bill) that any of my Democratic friends oppose".

The rub: Democrats want to include DACA in the must-pass measure; most Republicans want to handle DACA separately. A spending package needs 60 Senate votes to pass, and the Republicans hold only 51 seats.

"I think it is nearly 100% likely that the government will shut down for some period of time - now my guess is it won't go past the first of the week - in which the disruption won't be particularly severe", said Yarmuth, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

Whether the Senate can pass such a measure ahead of a Friday midnight deadline is a different issue altogether.

Then: "Stocks rose yesterday during the first day of government shutdown". But they also object to the measure because it fails to deal with a broad array of other Democratic spending priorities. Democrats have been pushing for the bill to include some deportation protections for Dreamers, or the children brought to the country illegally and covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). And if the Senate can't pass any funding resolution, or if Trump decides to veto it, then the government officially shuts down.

A new Washington Post/ABC poll found that 48 per cent of Americans blame US President Donald Trump and the Republicans for a potential shutdown, and only 28 per cent hold Democrats responsible.

In remarks at the Pentagon Thursday morning, Trump seemed resigned to a federal shutdown.

The stunning display of government dysfunction came just a week after President Trump rejected a bipartisan deal to protect more than a million young immigrants in exchange for money to build a portion of the border wall he promised during the 2016 campaign.

The last government shutdown occurred in 2013 when Republican lawmakers unsuccessfully tried to defund the Affordable Care Act. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) all signaled opposition to, or at least skepticism of, the House funding bill.

INSKEEP: But are Republicans - or Democrats, either one - saying to you, you know, if they shut down the government, they're going to be destroyed - I mean, if the other side will be destroyed is what I'm saying.

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