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House passes bill to avert Thursday shutdown; Senate still horse trading

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) answers questions following a meeting of the House Republican caucus at the U.S. Capitol on February 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. Ryan fielded a range of questions including those on continued funding for the federal government and a recent memo released by the House Intelligence Committee. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The House of Representatives passed another short-term continuing resolution Tuesday night that would bolster military spending and keep the government funded through March 23. The measure passed 245-182, with eight Republicans crossing over to vote "no," and 17 Democrats crossing over to vote "yes."

The resolution will now be sent to the Senate, where significant negotiations are still ongoing. Those negotiations do not, however, seem likely to include a legislative DACA fix, as they did before the last shutdown.

What's in the resolution?

The bill passed by the House would keep the Department of Defense funded for an additional eight months, at increased levels from current spending. It would fund all non-defense programs through March 23rd at current levels.

The bill does not include any language whatsoever on the future of DACA recipients, and it is not expected that any immigration proposals at all will be part of the current funding discussion. The government will shut down on February 8th unless both chambers pass a funding bill.

What's next?

The bill moves on to the Senate, which is likely to send it back to the House with some revisions. A major sticking point for Democrats, who retain the ability to filibuster a funding bill, is the issue of increased military funding. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has stated that any increases in military spending should be accompanied by an equivalent increase in non-defense spending.

However, Republicans in both the Senate and the House would likely oppose such a plan, so the Senate is widely expected to send the bill back to the House with the increases in military spending stripped out of the continuing resolution.

This may cost the measure some Republican votes in the House, but both sides are confident that a deal will get done to avoid a government shutdown. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told reporters on Tuesday that he was "optimistic" a deal could be reached to avert a shutdown.

The Senate is also attempting to reach an agreement on spending caps as part of this funding measure, but it is unclear if leadership in the House is on board with such a plan.

Afterwards, the bill will be presented to President Trump, who is widely expected to sign it, in spite of his declaration earlier Tuesday that he would welcome a government shutdown in order to ensure a strong border security bill.

One last thing…
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