Senate Democrats say they can block spending bill


Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer says there's "very, very strong" sentiment among Democrats to oppose a four-week government-wide funding bill that's slated for a House vote Thursday.

The big stumbling block with congressional Democrats is over funding for continued protection of young, undocumented immigrants brought into the children, known as Dreamers.

Immigration issues also are complicating the budget negotiations.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, leaving a meeting with other deputy leaders, rejected the idea that an immigration deal could be concluded by Friday at midnight. ThinkProgress reported that only seven Democratic senators have gone on the record and said they would vote against a spending bill without a DACA fix. "None of us like to be in this position", Simpson said, adding that he plans to vote for the measure and expects it to have enough GOP support to pass the House. Not a Democrat, but Donald Trump has repeatedly said, on tape, over and over again, what the country needs is a good shutdown.

"It should not come to that [a shutdown]", Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press program.

Many of them fear that voters will fault the GOP after looking at Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, his past flirtation with letting federal funding expire and the fact that Republicans are in control of the White House, the Senate and the House.

In another Thursday tweet, Trump said, "A government shutdown will be devastating to our military", which he contended that opposition Democratic lawmakers "care very little about!"

Conservatives and liberals alike have raised objections to passing another short-term spending bill, increasing the chances of a shutdown as lawmakers lurch toward the January 19 deadline.

In the meantime, Republican leaders will attempt to rally support for the CR within their conference, with less than three days to go before government operations grind to a halt absent its passage.

GOP leaders are also trying to draw support from Republicans by including delays for several Obamacare taxes in the bill. Conservatives are irked that Republican leaders have failed to reach a broader budget deal that funds the military for the rest of the fiscal year.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a conservative who frequently breaks with his party, announced he was also a "no" because he wants to curb government spending and doesn't feel the spending measure achieves that.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters on, December 12, 2017, about the GOP tax bill following the Democratic Caucus weekly policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.

"I said in December that I wouldn't vote for a CR without the Dream Act, and I won't do so now", she said in a statement released by her office.

Republicans included the health insurance extension in the short-term funding bill in the hopes of winning Democratic support.

The immigration talks ground almost to a halt last week after Trump rejected a bipartisan solution proposed by Sens. In an interview on Friday, Perdue had said he didn't remember the president using such language.

A partial US government shutdown last occurred in 2013, a standoff over health care policies that lasted 16 days, furloughed hundreds of thousands of federal workers and curtailed government services throughout the country.

"We're not gonna leave you behind", Lindsey said.

Graham took to the Senate floor Wednesday to deliver a message to the president, "What I saw Tuesday was a man that understood what America was all about", he said.

Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, is one of those negotiators. It would have protected the immigrants shielded by DACA and made concessions to Republicans, including increasing funding for some border security measures and making changes to extended family migration.

"Mr. President, close this [immigration] deal", Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC said at a Judiciary Committee hearing, adding, "Don't give my number out, but call me" - a reference to an incident in the campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in which Trump publicly announced Graham's private telephone number.