House Conservatives almost derail tax bill in procedural vote


Republicans emerged from a contentious morning meeting Tuesday saying that House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and other leaders told them that the Senate is resisting a longer stopgap measure backed by the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

In response, Pelosi tweeted that Trump was "the only person talking about a government shutdown".

Still, they may be willing to agree to the two-week bill if defense spending is dealt with separately in the next round of budget talks.

Rep. Jim Jordan of OH, the former chair of both the Republican Study Committee and the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, told USA TODAY he was supportive of a separate defense department funding bill.

Without support from their own conservatives, House GOP leaders would need backing from Democrats to push a temporary measure through the chamber.

Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who has been negotiating with GOP leadership, told USA TODAY he was pushing for a separate bill because military funding was one of the areas of bipartisan consensus. Chuck Schumer of NY and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, ticking off a roster of Democratic priorities, including domestic spending increases, funding for veterans and money to battle opioid abuse, immigration and health care.

Indeed, without the Freedom Caucus votes, Ryan warned that he would need to bring Democrats into the talks to keep the government funded past Friday. Rose DeLauro, D-Conn.

Given the calendar and the amount of time needed to finalize a broad spending package, another stopgap spending measure will be needed just before Christmas.

"A vote against this resolution is a vote to shut down the government", he said. Trump ended those protections this fall and Democrats are demanding that they be renewed in the year-end rush of business.

President Trump reversed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, in September but gave Congress six months to come up with a solution.

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"January and February are not the most productive months in Washington". Graves said in an interview that short-term funding bills are a tactic of the minority and argued that Republicans are "squandering" their power of the purse.

"This is a serious offer to enhance border security which the Democrats will support and I hope that will be sufficient", Durbin said.

Conservatives generally believe they will have more leverage in the negotiations over the next spending bill if the deadline is not right when lawmakers are trying to get home for the holidays.

But that plan met resistance from hardline conservative members, who want a spending bill to run at least through the end of the year.

The Freedom Caucus rebellion could empower House Democrats to seek concessions on the short-term measure if their votes are needed to pass it.

"We are here to make progress. I think that will happen", said Trump, who has previously criticized Democrats for wanting to include immigration provisions in a new spending plan.

The House is set to vote on the bill Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after returning to the Capitol that while an agreement on spending limits wasn't reached, "We agreed that we want to resolve all of these issues in the next couple of weeks".

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer visited the White House after canceling a similar meeting scheduled for last week because Trump said he didn't think it would be possible to reach a deal.