clear
Wednesday December 13th, 2017 9:51AM

GOP leaves little doubt they'll prevent government shutdown

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Republicans left no doubt that the House will approve legislation Thursday preventing a weekend partial government shutdown, erasing any suspense over an impending budget clash that would put a calamitous exclamation point at the end of the capital's tumultuous year.

"I feel good where we are," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters hours before his chamber planned to vote on legislation keeping federal agencies afloat through Dec. 22. Their money runs out at midnight Friday without approval of fresh funding, and Senate approval was also expected.

The development came as Ryan and congressional leaders of both major parties met at the White House with President Donald Trump about the year-end agenda. They had hopes the meeting might mean progress toward a pre-Christmas agreement on a budget framework, a popular children's health program, aid to hurricane-slammed Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida — and, for Democrats and many Republicans, protections for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

Before the meeting, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., staked out a hard line that Democrats would insist on "a fix" for the predicament of those immigrants, called "Dreamers" by their supporters. Pelosi said, "We will not leave here" without helping the immigrants. Her stance was noteworthy because GOP leaders are likely to require Democratic votes for the pre-Christmas spending bill.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus had resisted the pending stopgap measure earlier in the week, fearing it would lead to a bad deal for conservatives down the road. But on Thursday, the group's chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said the group will likely give leaders whatever support they need to pass the legislation.

Meadows said they'll help it pass to avoid distractions from the GOP drive to push their treasured $1.5 trillion tax bill through Congress this month. That measure, which mostly benefits businesses and upper-income people, is President Donald Trump's and the GOP's top remaining priority and would be their first major legislative triumph of the year.

But hours before Trump was to bargain with congressional leaders at the White House over longer-term spending decisions, Meadows said the conservatives would oppose any agreement they feel allows excessive federal spending.

"I want to avoid a headline that says President Trump's administration just passes the highest spending levels in U.S. history," Meadows told two reporters. "There will be zero support on numbers that are too high, regardless of anybody's position on that."

He also said Ryan promised he'd fight in coming weeks to pass a full-year budget for the military and leave fights with Democrats over domestic spending for later. It is unclear how that strategy would work, since Republicans control the Senate 52-48 and will need at least eight Democratic votes to pass any spending legislation.

The prospects for successful White House talks were buffeted Wednesday when the impulsive Trump blurted to reporters that a shutdown "could happen." He blamed Democrats, saying they want "illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime."

Last week, an unexpected attack by Trump on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Pelosi prompted the two to skip a bargaining session that was planned then.

This time, the White House smoothed the waters by following up with a more peaceable, written statement. It praised Pelosi and Schumer for choosing to "put their responsibility to the American people above partisanship" and said Trump was anticipating productive talks between "leaders who put their differences aside."

Later, the White House issued another statement indicating Trump would sign the two-week spending extension. It also laid out administration budget goals, saying money for the military, including missile defense and security along the border with Mexico, "must be prioritized in a long-term funding agreement."

The two-week spending bill also makes money available to several states that are running out of funds for the Children's Health Insurance Program. That widely popular program provides medical care to more than 8 million children.

While many Democrats seemed likely to oppose the short-term bill, enough were expected to support it in the Senate to allow its passage there. They know they'd still have leverage on subsequent bills needed to keep the government running.

Democrats have been using their leverage to insist on spending boosts for health care, infrastructure and other domestic programs that would match increases Republicans want for defense.

___

Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Health - Children's Health, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
DA issues criticism of judge in Penn State frat death case
The prosecutor in the case of former Penn State fraternity members facing charges in a pledge's death isn't in court for a hearing on the fate of dismissed charges, but she's weighing in with sharp criticism of the judge
1:06PM ( 3 minutes ago )
The Latest: Shooter among dead in New Mexico school shooting
Authorities say three people are dead following a shooting at a New Mexico high school
1:03PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Franken's resignation triggers a rush to replace him
Sen. Al Franken's announcement Thursday that he will resign triggers a mad-dash special election in 2018 to finish the Minnesota Democrat's term
1:03PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
White ex-cop gets 20 years in prison for fatal shooting
A white former South Carolina police officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting an unarmed black motorist to death in 2015. A federal judge handed down the sentence for Michael Slager on Thursday
12:39PM ( 30 minutes ago )
The Latest: Minnesota gov. hasn't chosen Franken replacement
Minnesota Republicans are reaching out to former Gov. Tim Pawlenty about running in a race to replace Sen. Al Franken
12:39PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Trump administration praises Honduras amid election crisis
The administration of President Donald Trump is certifying Honduras' progress in protecting human rights and attacking corruption even as the country struggles with a deepening electoral crisis
12:38PM ( 31 minutes ago )
AP National News
Palestinians protest Trump move on Jerusalem
Hundreds of Palestinian protesters have clashed with Israeli troops across the West Bank, while demonstrators in Gaza burned posters of President Donald Trump over his widely denounced decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital
12:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Franken quits amid sexual misconduct allegations
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has resigned amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations
11:58AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Interview: On North Korea, senator says China a problem
China is more of a problem than a partner for the United States on dealing with nuclear-armed North Korea _ according to a leading Republican senator and ally of President Donald Trump.
11:55AM ( 1 hour ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Democrats somber as Franken says he'll resign
Democratic senators, staff and family members were somber yet emotional as they watched Minnesota Sen. Al Franken say he would resign
12:14PM ( 57 minutes ago )
The Latest: Ryan suggests GOP has votes to fund government
House Speaker Paul Ryan is suggesting that House Republicans have enough votes to fund the federal government through Dec. 22, even if all Democrats vote against the measure
12:13PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Poland: Jewish community dismayed by digging at old cemetery
Human remains from an old Jewish burial ground in Poland have been dug up and dumped in an empty lot to make way for the construction of an electrical transformer station and a parking lot
12:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Franken to say whether he will step down
A majority of the Senate's Democrats are calling on Minnesota Sen. Al Franken to quit after another woman accused him of forcibly trying to kiss her
9:59AM ( 3 hours ago )
Australian Parliament allows same-sex marriages
Australia's Parliament has voted to allow same-sex marriage across the nation, following a bitter debate settled by a much-criticized government survey of voters that strongly endorsed change.
8:22AM ( 4 hours ago )
Jailed pro-Kurdish party leader's trial opens in Turkey
A trial against the imprisoned leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party on terror charges has opened in the Turkish capital
7:51AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Bitcoin tops $17,000; hack raises concerns ahead of US trade
Bitcoin topped $17,000, while a hacking at a bitcoin mining company raises new concerns about the security of digital currencies.
11:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
Applications for US jobless benefits drop again to 236,000
Applications for US unemployment benefits post third weekly decline, falling to 236,000
11:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
US mortgage rates rise, though remain historically low
US mortgage rates rise, though remain at historically low levels
11:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Stock markets subdued as investors focus on US tax, jobs
Global stock markets are subdued as investors focus on the U.S. tax reform and look ahead to an upcoming U.S. jobs report
8:15AM ( 4 hours ago )
Russian ex-minister gives final argument in corruption trial
A former Russian economic development minister on trial for bribery has accused an oil executive of setting him up
5:05AM ( 8 hours ago )
Global shares mostly calm as investors focus on US tax, jobs
European stocks open higher while some Asian markets have recovered from previous day's losses
4:35AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
The Latest: Shooter among dead in New Mexico school shooting
Authorities say three people are dead following a shooting at a New Mexico high school
1:03PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Franken's resignation triggers a rush to replace him
Sen. Al Franken's announcement Thursday that he will resign triggers a mad-dash special election in 2018 to finish the Minnesota Democrat's term
1:03PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Pearl Harbor survivors remember those killed 76 years ago
Survivors have gathered at the site of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to remember fellow servicemen killed in the early morning raid 76 years ago
12:59PM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: FBI chief says hacker targets can be hard to ID
FBI director Christopher Wray says that identifying hacking targets can be "harder than you might think."
12:55PM ( 16 minutes ago )
FBI director defends his agency against Trump's attacks
FBI Director Christopher Wray is defending his agency amid blistering criticism from President Donald Trump and says, "There is no finer institution, and no finer people, than the men and women who work there."
12:50PM ( 21 minutes ago )