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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 7:38 AM
Updated: Dec 4, 2018 7:38 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68293

Reported Deaths: 1944
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5656118
DeSoto368031
Harrison253036
Madison244368
Rankin229235
Jackson228843
Jones191659
Forrest182056
Washington168942
Lee147941
Lauderdale141192
Neshoba128692
Lamar122614
Oktibbeha112739
Bolivar111834
Warren109533
Lowndes108538
Panola106214
Sunflower105425
Scott100320
Lafayette98317
Copiah95728
Leflore94765
Pike93836
Holmes90049
Grenada84921
Yazoo83312
Lincoln83241
Pontotoc8308
Simpson80330
Monroe80155
Leake79025
Wayne77421
Coahoma77213
Tate73629
Marshall7019
Marion68420
Union64316
Adams62925
Winston62316
Covington62113
George5895
Pearl River55439
Newton54311
Tallahatchie53011
Attala52325
Walthall50120
Chickasaw47019
Noxubee45912
Alcorn4345
Tishomingo4216
Calhoun4209
Prentiss41710
Claiborne40913
Smith40613
Clay39714
Hancock39514
Jasper3889
Itawamba37510
Tippah36713
Tunica3517
Clarke32626
Montgomery3265
Lawrence3228
Yalobusha31510
Humphreys29411
Quitman2701
Carroll26111
Greene25512
Perry2437
Amite2356
Webster23512
Kemper23414
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21113
Stone2055
Sharkey1995
Jefferson1957
Benton1431
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena262
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13258244
Mobile10517207
Montgomery6835149
Madison544734
Tuscaloosa423076
Baldwin365125
Unassigned363064
Shelby330936
Marshall318937
Lee270047
Morgan241118
Etowah216232
DeKalb183013
Calhoun180717
Elmore173138
Walker153964
Houston141912
Russell13872
St. Clair135418
Limestone134913
Dallas133123
Franklin128820
Cullman122712
Colbert120716
Lauderdale118919
Autauga117421
Escambia108717
Talladega104814
Jackson10144
Tallapoosa86579
Chambers84438
Dale83525
Clarke82610
Blount8124
Chilton8097
Butler76736
Coffee7646
Covington73720
Pike7087
Marion58026
Barbour5765
Lowndes57324
Marengo56515
Hale47826
Bullock46611
Winston45711
Perry4454
Washington44312
Bibb4425
Wilcox43210
Monroe4215
Pickens4049
Randolph40310
Conecuh39310
Sumter36418
Lawrence3512
Macon33914
Crenshaw3265
Choctaw28712
Cherokee2758
Henry2643
Clay2635
Geneva2631
Greene25211
Lamar2292
Fayette2125
Cleburne1271
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