House approves US government funding amid shutdown fears
The US House of Representatives has approved funding for US government operations through March 23. The measure is unlikely to get approval in the Senate, threatening another government shutdown.
The final vote on House Resolution 1892 was 245 in favor and 182 opposed. It was not entirely partisan, either, with 17 Democrats crossing the aisle to support the resolution and eight Republicans voting against it.
There are concerns that the resolution will not be approved by the Senate, however, as the Republican-drafted measure boosts military funding without a corresponding increase in civilian expenditures.
Senate Democrats, which have enough votes to filibuster any continuing resolution, are insisting on equal spending on military and civilian spending. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) met privately on Tuesday and discussed a budget deal to increase spending across the board, Politico reported.
The Senate will vote on the continuing resolution next, which will most likely require another House vote to reconcile the texts, and all before the shutdown deadline at midnight Thursday.
The most recent government shutdown was on January 20, after Senate Democrats filibustered the continuing resolution over the issue of immigrants brought into the US illegally as children, recipients of the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The shutdown ended by the morning of January 23, after Republicans promised a debate on immigration.
President Donald Trump has offered a “four-pillar” proposal to provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, in exchange for border wall funding and end to “chain migration” and diversity lottery programs. Democrats have rejected the proposal, calling it racist.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump said he would be willing to have a government shutdown if Democrats are unwilling to work with him on immigration reform.