Congress Just Avoided A Government Shutdown, But There’s A Big Fight Coming In 2018



Congress accepted a last-minute spending invoice Thursday, avoiding a authorities shutdown over the vacation season however punting huge coverage and finances choices to January, when the Home and Senate will as soon as once more need to discover a deal to keep away from shuttering the federal government.

The laws, referred to as a unbroken decision, retains the federal government funded till Jan. 19, 2018. It handed the Senate Thursday night time 66 to 32, quickly after it handed the Home by a vote of 231–188. President Trump is anticipated to signal it into legislation properly earlier than Friday’s midnight deadline for a shutdown.

“I feel all people’s relieved,” Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative Home Freedom Caucus, advised reporters after the Home vote. “And so you understand, within the traces of considered one of my favourite films, It’s a Great Life, ‘Merry Christmas, all people, God bless you.’”

“It is a reduction to be going residence, interval,” Sen. Bob Corker stated after the Senate vote. “It has been a turbulent quarter.”

Republicans — who management each chambers of Congress in addition to the White Home — will now have the ability to return residence with one main legislative achievement beneath their belts this 12 months: the tax overhaul invoice they handed earlier this week.

However they’ve rolled a number of high-profile points into 2018, together with a legislative resolution to Trump’s resolution to finish Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that protects younger undocumented immigrants from deportation. Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell stated this week that he would enable a vote on a deal to guard the practically 800,000 DREAMers, ought to members strike a bipartisan deal on the finish of January.

“I feel that everyone understands that we have got to care for these children, and I actually felt very strongly that we wanted to do it earlier than the tip of the 12 months,” Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, stated after the Senate voted.

The persevering with decision handed Thursday additionally features a funding extension for the Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program, which supplies well being protection for kids in low-income households that don’t qualify for Medicaid. CHIP ran out of funding on the finish of September, however the funding deal provides practically $2.9 billion to run this system by way of March 31, 2018, organising Congress to handle this system once more early subsequent 12 months.

The laws additionally included a short-term extension of part 702 of the International Intelligence Surveillance Act, kicking a dialogue over whether or not to reform or develop the federal government’s international spying powers to January.

Simply after the CR vote, the Home did cross a separate catastrophe supplemental invoice addressing hurricane and wildfire reduction.

“Effectively, I assume we higher recharge our batteries,” Se. John Cornyn stated after the Senate vote when requested how he felt going into 2018. “It looks like Groundhog Day. We rise up and do the identical factor over, and over, and over once more. It simply— it is maddening and irritating, however sadly that is the way in which the Senate and Congress operates.”

He added that he “cannot think about a world” the place CHIP funding lapses subsequent 12 months.

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins stated earlier Thursday that the time to take care of these points, in addition to some longer-term protection and nationwide safety measures, is within the new 12 months. “After the primary of the 12 months, these are all legit discussions. Let’s simply, I feel all of us agree, let’s not shut down over Christmas.”

Traditionally, main legislative initiatives are unlikely to happen in an election 12 months, when controversial votes might be pricey to events. Republicans shall be preventing to hold onto their majorities, they usually’ll face one other hurdle within the Senate: a slimmed-down majority come January after Alabama elected a Democrat earlier this month.

“There’ll nonetheless be lots accomplished, there simply received’t be any huge front-page concern like a significant tax invoice or main well being care,” Texas Rep. Joe Barton advised BuzzFeed Information Thursday. “And all the pieces that didn’t get accomplished this 12 months that’s within the pipeline we’ll attempt to do subsequent 12 months.”

Even so, some Republican members hope they will experience into 2018 on the momentum created by passing their tax invoice.

“We’re demonstrating that we’re capable of get a number of issues accomplished that haven’t been capable of get accomplished in many years. I’m hoping that that momentum carries us into January, however as you properly know, that’s it all the time the case,” Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart advised reporters earlier than Thursday’s vote, ceding, “yeah, January’s going to be a bear.”


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