Bill to avert shutdown for 1 week clears House

The newest 'Trumpcare' vote may already be in trouble — for the exact opposite reason as last time

A shutdown on Saturday would coincide with Trump's 100th day in office. The Senate is expected to approve it soon after the House sends it over and then send it to the President to sign ahead of the midnight deadline.

On top of the possibility that he will preside over a government shutdown despite his party controlling both houses of Congress, President Trump also faces humiliation in the form of his latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Only 22 GOP members can vote against the bill for it pass through the Republican-controlled chamber. Lawmakers were supposed to have taken care of the current fiscal year appropriations bills by last October 1.

"I think it's sad that we're here at the last minute trying to kick the can down the road", said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

The bill provides federal funding through May 5, allowing lawmakers to hammer out legislation in the coming days to keep the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year ending September 30.

The report said a new bill, crafted by Rep. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, was posted on the House Rules Committee's website late Wednesday and it strikes the provision.

"I'm disappointed that it doesn't go quicker", Trump said of his interactions with Congress, in an interview airing Friday on Fox News Channel.

Congressional Republicans had hoped to revive their health legislation this week, but delayed a vote after they were unable to secure enough support for its passage. Only 16 Republicans and 14 Democrats opposed the bill.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., wants to avoid an encore of last month's embarrassment.

Republicans have recast it to let states escape a requirement under President Barack Obama's 2010 law that insurers charge healthy and seriously ill customers the same rates. But Democrats pushed back and were hopeful that the measure would not contain many items they deemed "poison pills". Centrist Republicans were the primary target of lobbying by the White House and GOP leaders.

Without the extension or a longer-term funding bill, federal agencies will run out of money by midnight on Friday, likely triggering abrupt layoffs of hundreds of thousands of federal government workers until funding resumes.

Most core decisions about agency budgets have been worked out, but unrelated policy issues - such as a Democratic request to help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico with its Medicaid burden - are among the holdups.

Trump has backed off his earlier demand that the spending legislation include funding for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. But Trump and defense hawks have procured a $15 billion infusion for the Pentagon and funds for other border security accounts such as detention beds for people entering the country illegally.

Many House Republican supporters of the measure insisted Friday that they are just a few votes shy - and that a vote could come, for real, as early as next week.

Democrats praised a $2 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health - rejecting steep cuts proposed by Trump - as well as additional funds to curb opioid abuse and fund Pell Grants for summer school.



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