Home / World News / Republican leaders offer one-month spending bill – The Denver Post

Republican leaders offer one-month spending bill – The Denver Post

WASHINGTON – House Republican leaders presented their rank and file with a one-month spending bill Tuesday aimed at keeping the government open ahead of a Friday night deadline, as hopes for a deal on young undocumented immigrants faded.

The bill would extend existing spending levels through Feb. 16 and include an extension of a popular children’s health insurance program – aimed at winning Democratic votes – and a new sweetener for conservatives and Democrats alike in delaying several taxes included in the Affordable Care Act. Few lawmakers were enthusiastic about the legislation, but several described it as a necessary evil to avoid the first government shutdown since 2013.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said leaders urged lawmakers to get behind the bill and make sure it could garner the Republican votes needed without having to appeal to Democrats. “Keep the power of 218 going so you don’t weaken the majority position by having to get votes from the minority,” he said.

“We are where we are, and I think it’s important to fund the government and do these other things,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J. MacArthur accused Democrats of “the height of stubbornness” if they vote against the bill because it doesn’t include a solution for “dreamers,” hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

Shortly thereafter, leaders released the legislation online. They planned to test support Wednesday and bring the bill to a vote Thursday, according to multiple members. It was not immediately clear whether they would be successful.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who chairs the conservative Freedom Caucus, said that the legislation doesn’t yet have the votes needed to pass and that he hasn’t decided how to vote. He dismissed the health-care tax delays as “window dressing.”

Assuming it passes the House, the bill would then head to the Senate.

Meanwhile, Democrats are seeking concessions and threatening to block even a short-term spending measure if they don’t get them.

“We don’t want to shut down the government – we never want to,” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters. “We want to keep the government open, but I will repeat, we’re not going to be held hostage to do things we think are contrary to the best interest of the American people.”

Democrats have leverage in the spending fight because their votes are needed to keep the government open – definitely in the Senate but possibly also in the House unless Republicans can unify behind the short-term proposal.

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