Democrats Vote Against CHIP Funding Ahead of 'Schumer Shutdown'

U.S. President Donald Trump departs following a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for former Senator Bob Dole at the U.S. Capitol in Washing

U.S. President Donald Trump departs following a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for former Senator Bob Dole at the U.S. Capitol in Washing

"We're all focused myopically on what is happening today and whether the government will shut down", While House legislative director Marc Short told Politico. "That is a very basic and fundamental duty".

In order to convince Democratic lawmakers to back their budget bill, Republicans are offering a six-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (Chip), which benefits lower-income families. The stalemate over a long-term bill has mostly centered on two issues: trying to reach agreement on spending levels and legal protections for immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children.

Reflecting the election-year stakes, aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told senior staffers that he is intent on muscling the bill through the upper chamber and putting pressure on Democrats to vote for it, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

However, a mix of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate who oppose the House bill for varying reasons left the legislation on the verge of defeat.

President Donald Trump in May griped via Twitter that Congress' negotiating process was frustrating his drive to enact his agenda.

Shortly before the House vote, the Freedom Caucus said a majority of its members would vote to support a stopgap spending measure, a key sign that holdout conservatives who had been undecided earlier had come on board. "The Republicans control the Senate, the House and the White House and they can't all get on the same page and that's why there is going to be a government shutdown". Only six House Democrats broke ranks to vote with the GOP.

The measure would be the fourth stopgap spending bill since the current budget year started in October.

"We're doing fine", Ryan said.

That's a remarkable statement coming from a high-ranking Republican in the midst of a budget crisis.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is one of those senators who said he'd oppose the spending measure. "The House did the right thing". "I am a nay vote tonight".

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Trump said "I'd sit down, but I'm not sure that sitting down will solve the problem". He went on: "They're not there yet, but they're close".

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Will the government actually shut down? Meanwhile, hard-line Democrats view a shutdown as something they could blame on Trump. House Republicans won passage of a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government open through February 16th.

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But Republican leaders did not immediately embrace the idea, and it was unclear how it would work for the House, which is scheduled to be out of session next week. Disagreement over immigration, and other budgetary issues, means Friday's deadline is likely to go to the wire. "No, no", he told reporters.

The Secretary's office is reviewing all the available options as to how it should handle some of the decision-making going forward, if this were to happen, if there were to be a government shutdown.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, now host of "The Answer" on AM 560, says he would welcome a shutdown.

This time, GOP lawmakers are forcing Democrats into the politically uncomfortable position of choosing between funding CHIP and their effort to win legal protections for dreamers.

In an animated and rare late-night debate on the Senate floor, Schumer and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sparred over the legislation, which would extend government funding for four weeks until February 16th.

Still, Senate Democrats said they have the votes to block the measure in their chamber. They also delayed some taxes from the Affordable Care Act - one on medical devices and another on high-cost, so-called "Cadillac" insurance plans, items they believe it would be tough for those Democrats in swing districts to vote against. Mike Pence, now Trump's vice president, said he would be willing to shut the government down over reducing government spending and over his amendment to defund Planned Parenthood.

But President Trump upended his party's strategy with an early-morning tweet Thursday, saying that funding should not be in the stop-gap measure, but rather in "a long-term solution".

But even if those bills were to be approved in the House, they would not have 60 votes to make it through the U.S. Senate, which could bring the Congress, the President, and the nation to the brink of the first government funding crisis since 2013.

While Republicans like Ryan suggested that the president was endorsing the GOP's approach, others found the tweets inexplicable and unhelpful ahead of a possible election-year shutdown. House Speaker Paul Ryan immediately summoned reporters to try to pin the blame on top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of NY.

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