clear
Thursday June 21st, 2018 2:48AM

McConnell unveils wish list to attach to spending bill

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Republican Monday announced a lengthy wish list that he hopes to attach to a must-do spending bill this week, but there's no agreement with the chamber's Democrats and little time to waste.

The government would partially shut down if Washington can't pass another stopgap spending bill by midnight Friday.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is eyeing the measure as a shortcut to power several other items into law, including hurricane relief, a renewal of a children's health insurance program and funding to stabilize "Obamacare" insurance markets.

But top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has other priorities, chiefly protection from deportation of immigrants commonly referred to as "Dreamers" and securing spending increases for domestic agencies to match huge budget increases sought by defense hawks for the Pentagon.

The must-pass spending bill would be the main item of congressional business remaining after Republicans wrap up action on their hard-fought tax bill. Lawmakers are eager to head home for the holidays.

GOP leaders are aiming for Tuesday votes in both House and Senate on the tax measure, which would be the biggest win by far for President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill.

As Republicans controlling Congress hashed out their tax measure, however, a stack of unfinished legislation has piled up. Negotiations have produced some progress but many disagreements remain. Perhaps most significantly, Democrats are demanding that Trump fulfill pledges to address the immigration issue, which involves protections for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children and whom have often known no other home that the U.S.

Republicans leaders don't want to take on the politically explosive issue of immigration this year but promise it will be taken care of next year. And GOP leaders have so far rejected Democratic demands that domestic agencies and foreign aid accounts receive spending increases at parity with the $60-70 billion or more increase that Republicans want to award the Department of Defense.

In the House, GOP leaders have announced a plan to pair a huge Pentagon funding bill with record spending increases with a stopgap spending measure called a continuing resolution that would keep the rest of the government running at current levels through Jan. 19. They have also added a GOP-drafted renewal of the popular Clinton-era Children's Health Insurance Program.

The House GOP plan has little chance of surviving in the Senate. Unlike the tax bill, which is advancing under special filibuster-proof procedures, Democratic votes are needed to pass the year-end measure.

"We need action on Dreamers, and we need our Republican colleagues to cooperate," Schumer said. "On these issues and more, there is a lot of work left to do."

And in the Senate, McConnell promised several additions of his own, including tens of billions of dollars in hurricane aid, renewal of a controversial overseas wiretapping program that's valuable in fighting terrorism, and a budget waiver that would make sure that tax bill doesn't trigger cuts to Medicare and other benefit programs under so-called pay-as-you-go rules enacted when Democrats controlled Congress.

The complexity of the agenda — and Capitol Hill's spotty track record of bipartisan success in the Trump era — has spawned speculation that lawmakers will do the bare minimum to avert a shutdown and punt almost all of the rest of the issues into the new year.

"Congress must do what is right for the American people and take action this week," McConnell said, urging his colleagues to "come together and help pass a funding agreement that fulfills our responsibilities to the nation."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Health - Children's Health, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
McConnell unveils wish list to attach to spending bill
The Senate's top Republican has announced a lengthy wish list that he hopes to attach to a must-do spending bill this week, but there's no agreement with the chamber's Democrats and little time to waste
4:28PM ( 8 minutes ago )
German journalist freed from jail in Turkey pending trial
A court in Turkey has ordered that a German journalist be released from prison pending the outcome of her trial on terror-related charges
4:24PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Twitter suspends white nationalists as it enforces new rules
Twitter suspends several white nationalists under new rules for hateful and abusive content
4:20PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
GOP senators: Sen. Corker did not add provision to tax bill
Republicans are rallying to GOP Sen. Bob Corker's defense, rejecting a report that the Tennessee lawmaker stealthily tucked a provision into the massive tax package to benefit himself financially and then reversed course to back the bill
3:49PM ( 47 minutes ago )
US vetoes UN resolution against Trump's Jerusalem decision
The United States has vetoed a resolution supported by the 14 other U.N. Security Council members that would have required President Donald Trump to rescind his declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
3:47PM ( 49 minutes ago )
AP Explains: GOP tax package nearly law; what happens now
The Republicans' big tax bill is nearly law; heads for House, Senate votes, Trump's signature; massive rewrite of US tax code takes effect Jan. 1
2:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
McCain back in Arizona for Christmas, will miss tax vote
Republican Sen. John McCain has returned to Arizona to celebrate Christmas with his family and will miss the vote on the GOP tax bill
12:34PM ( 4 hours ago )
Senate chairman disputes report of Corker add to tax bill
Senate chairman disputes report of Corker add to tax bill
12:29PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: McCain feeling well, returning after holidays
Republican Sen. John McCain has returned to Arizona to celebrate Christmas with his family and will miss the vote on the GOP tax bill
12:24PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Delta hopes to be mostly on schedule Tuesday
The nation's air-travel system is struggling to get back on schedule after a weekend fire and blackout at the Atlanta airport forced the cancellation of over 1,500 flights
3:53PM ( 43 minutes ago )
New leader of South Africa's ANC party has daunting task
Cyril Ramaphosa, the newly elected leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress, now faces the daunting task of uniting a starkly divided party and reviving the tarnished reputation of Africa's oldest liberation movement
3:49PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Amtrak train hurtles off overpass; at least 6 people killed
Amtrak train hurtles off overpass onto highway below; at least six people killed
3:39PM ( 57 minutes ago )
AP Business
German journalist freed from jail in Turkey pending trial
A court in Turkey has ordered that a German journalist be released from prison pending the outcome of her trial on terror-related charges
4:24PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Twitter suspends white nationalists as it enforces new rules
Twitter suspends several white nationalists under new rules for hateful and abusive content
4:20PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Auriemma and Hatchell on cusp of 1,000 wins
Geno Auriemma and Sylvia Hatchell both have a chance to reach 1,000 wins in their next games
4:09PM ( 27 minutes ago )
'The Last Jedi' is a hit but how much did audiences like it?
'The Last Jedi' is a hit but some audience reaction metrics suggest not all "Star Wars" fans are so thriller with Rian Johnson's eighth episode in the franchise
4:06PM ( 30 minutes ago )
The Latest: Authorities say 13 train cars derailed
Authorities say a total of 13 train cars jumped the tracks Monday in a deadly Amtrak derailment south of Seattle
4:01PM ( 36 minutes ago )