White House backs short-term spending bill
The White House supports a stopgap spending bill to prevent a government shutdown on Friday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.
“We do support the short-term [continuing resolution],” Sanders told reporters.
The spokeswoman was asked about a plan floated by House Republican leaders that would keep the government open through Feb. 16 and fund the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years.
Sanders said the plan is “not our first choice” because the president wants a two-year funding agreement. But President Trump does want to prevent a government shutdown, Sanders said.
It’s unclear if the plan has the votes to pass.
Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have balked at the measure, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a national security hawk, has said he will vote against the bill because it does not address caps on defense spending.
Lawmakers need to pass a measure by midnight Friday, when government funding runs out.
The spokeswoman urged Democrats to support the short-term measure and argued they would be to blame if the government shuts down.
“The president certainly doesn’t want a shutdown, and if one happens, I think you’ll only have one place to look — and that’s to the Democrats,” Sanders said.
Democrats have rejected that claim, noting Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House.
Many Democratic lawmakers, however, have said they will vote against the stopgap spending bill because it does not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program.
Negotiations over the future of the program, which Trump scrapped, hit a wall this week after the president made vulgar comments about immigration from “shithole countries” during a heated Oval Office meeting.
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