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House Republicans approve stopgap government funding, averting shutdown threat for now

Lisa Mascaro, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

To pass a government funding bill on their own, Ryan reached a deal with various factions earlier the week to secure the GOP votes.

Under the agreement, the next package, on Dec. 22, would increase military money through the end of the fiscal year in September as well as an extension of an expiring surveillance program.

To woo Democrats, it would also include money for the children's health care program and emergency disaster funds for hurricane and wildfire recovery.

That's not likely to be enough to win over Democratic votes. Democrats also want a deal to help young immigrant "Dreamers" avoid the risk of deportation as Trump ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that allows them to stay and work in the U.S.

And by January, some GOP lawmakers who met with Ryan will now expect to see big spending reductions -- likely in welfare-related programs -- before passing the final package.

"The defense hawks and the fiscal hawks have come together," said Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who helped broker the deal as the head of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

The outcome, though, remains highly in doubt, in part because Republicans cannot yet guarantee they have the votes, and Democrats have not signed off on that deal. Pelosi was withholding the Democratic votes Thursday to extract priorities in the broader talks at the White House.

"Democrats are not willing to shut the government down," Pelosi said.

Even though some Democratic -- and an increasing number of Republican lawmakers -- have said they will block funding bills unless there is relief for immigrants, Pelosi insisted Thursday they wanted to reach a solution.

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"We will not leave here without a DACA fix," Pelosi said.

Pelosi said that if the temporary measure does not include any of the priorities they are negotiating for, Republicans will have to pass the bill on their own.

"They either have the votes or they don't," she said. "We have been outspoken about what our priorities are."

The White House meeting came after Pelosi and Schumer backed out of a session last week when Trump tweeted that he saw no deal to be reached with Democrats.

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