Congress Likely To Dodge Gov’t Shutdown

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

Congress has just days to figure out how to keep the government funded when it returns from Easter recess next week, but negotiators are confident they will be able to avoid a shutdown.

Lawmakers will likely pass a one-week continuing resolution, providing them more time to pass a long-term spending bill, Politico reports. The legislation would be void of policy riders, providing a better chance for it to pass with bipartisan support.

A number of Republicans have floated attaching language to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall and ax federal funding for sanctuary cities — proposals that Democrats have dubbed “poison pills” they won’t support.

Trump has floated cutting federal funds allocated to cost-sharing reduction subsides (CSRs) established under Obamacare, which are aimed at supplementing the out-of-pocket costs for individuals and families enrolled in Obamacare plans that fall below the poverty line, as a way to pressure Democrats to vote for a spending bill that help him accomplish some of his top priorities.

“If Congress doesn’t approve it, or if I don’t approve it, that would mean that Obamacare doesn’t have enough money, so it dies immediately as opposed to over a period of time,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

In terms of negotiating a spending package to keep the government funded longer than a week, some Republicans feel Democrats don’t have as much power as they are letting on.

“It’s going to be a compromise,”a Republican involved in the budget process told The Washington Times. “Nobody is going to placate the Democrats. It’s going to be a Republican package.”

Goldman Sachs projected there is a 25 percent chance of a government shutdown at the end of the month, with economists saying they expect to see a clean CR.

“Even if all Republicans support the bill passage is not guaranteed, since it is likely to need 60 votes in the Senate, or at least 8 Democrats in light of the 52-seat Republican majority,” the economists said, according to Reuters. “In the House, the bill is likely to need some Democratic support as well, since some fiscal conservatives are likely to vote against it.”

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