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Congress weighs two-week extension ahead of government shutdown deadline

The threat of a partial government shutdown looms over Washington as lawmakers push to extend a spending dea...

Posted: Dec 4, 2018 8:38 AM
Updated: Dec 4, 2018 8:38 AM

The threat of a partial government shutdown looms over Washington as lawmakers push to extend a spending deadline that is just days away, as Democrats and Republicans debate how to resolve a standoff over President Donald Trump's border wall demand.

On Monday afternoon, House Republicans have filed a continuing resolution to fund the remaining parts of the government until Friday, December 21, two weeks after the current December 7 deadline. The House will still need to pass the extension, as will the Senate, and Trump will need to sign it, a move the President has signaled he's willing to do, not wanting to have a major showdown until after former President George H.W. Bush's funeral proceedings (Congress will be out of session for part of the week because of it).

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A stop-gap funding measure could temporarily delay a spending showdown. But Democrats and Republicans appeared to be at an impasse over the President's promise of a border wall, raising the question: which side will blink first?

Trump wants $5 billion in funding for the wall and Senate Republicans are now weighing the possibility of attempting to allocate $5 billion over the next two years. Any spending bill would need at least some Democratic votes to pass, however, and could not be enacted without some degree of bipartisan support.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said last week that Trump should either agree to enact an existing Department of Homeland Security funding bill that has bipartisan support in the Senate and would allocate $1.6 billion for border security or keep DHS funded for another year via a short-term spending measure known as a continuing resolution.

Lawmakers passed a government spending package to fund much of the government prior to the 2018 midterm elections -- so if there is any kind of a shutdown, it would not affect all of the federal government. Funding will run out on December 7 for some government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, if lawmakers do not act this week.

Trump has so far signaled an openness to a short-term extension. The President told reporters aboard Air Force One that he is willing to extend the deadline for funding the federal government to avoid a government shutdown.

"If (congressional leaders) come to talk about an extension because of President Bush's passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it," Trump said.

But a two-week continuing resolution would do nothing to address the current standoff between Democrats and Republicans over wall funding.

The impact of a partial shutdown would nevertheless be disruptive and would invite an immediate political backlash.

Democrats and Republicans alike have both said that they don't want a shutdown as the funding deadline nears.

"We don't believe in shutdowns," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Friday, saying "we have to" when asked if Congress would avert a shutdown.

"I don't think anybody wants a government shutdown," North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on Friday in the Capitol.

But, Meadows said, "I do think that there is a real battle coming on the border wall funding," adding, "if the border wall funding is not there, it does increase the possibility of impasse that could lead to a shutdown."

The President has warned that it is "possible" there could be a shutdown if Congress does not greenlight the money he wants to see allocated for the wall, which he promised on the campaign trail would be paid for by Mexico.

"If we don't get border security, possible shutdown," Trump told reporters last Thursday.

For now, both sides are gearing up for the possibility that a partial shutdown could take place -- and are getting ready to pin the blame on the opposing party if it happens.

"Make no mistake: The President is the only person who holds the ultimate responsibility for a government shutdown," Schumer said in a Senate floor speech on Thursday.

Republicans still control both chambers of Congress and the White House. That won't change until Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in the new Congress in January. But that won't stop Republicans from trying to cast blame on Democrats if a partial shutdown happens.

"I don't think the Democrats want to shut down the government over the border security issue. But they might. We'll see," Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters last week.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
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Tippecanoe3803
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Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
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Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33439

Reported Deaths: 2044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5486243
Cuyahoga4137224
Marion262823
Hamilton2523131
Lucas2162233
Pickaway204635
Mahoning1367173
Summit1315160
Butler82626
Stark70091
Columbiana68250
Lorain65959
Montgomery61716
Trumbull54447
Belmont40312
Miami35130
Warren34419
Tuscarawas3264
Ashtabula31633
Portage31357
Medina31020
Delaware30213
Lake28712
Wood28045
Geauga26129
Wayne25650
Fairfield2484
Clark2316
Licking21811
Mercer2014
Allen20132
Clermont1975
Richland1893
Erie1635
Darke15619
Madison1447
Washington11819
Crawford1103
Morrow1041
Greene985
Ottawa9412
Putnam8714
Monroe7412
Sandusky7011
Hocking694
Ross672
Jefferson652
Auglaize643
Huron551
Williams521
Hancock481
Muskingum460
Union460
Clinton430
Hardin410
Shelby402
Wyandot372
Fayette370
Logan370
Fulton360
Coshocton340
Defiance332
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Preble311
Holmes291
Carroll293
Lawrence280
Champaign271
Brown251
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Highland191
Seneca192
Vinton191
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Perry181
Athens181
Henry150
Scioto150
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Jackson120
Harrison100
Adams81
Gallia71
Van Wert60
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Meigs60
Noble50
Morgan50
Unassigned00
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