Congress to miss shutdown deadline as Senate goes into recess

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The No. 2 Republican in the U.S. Senate said on Thursday an expected vote on spending legislation is being held up by an objection from Republican Senator Rand Paul that would prevent the chamber from proceeding to a final vote by unanimous consent.

A growing number of House Democrats, led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are threatening to vote against the bill, raising concerns that House leaders may not have the votes to pass the spending bill in that chamber.

"I don't understand why the senator from Kentucky wants to insist on shutting down the federal government", Cornyn said.

The White House's Office of Management and Budget said earlier in the evening it was preparing for a shutdown if the stopgap bill did not win passage on time in Congress.

"I'm not advocating for shutting down the government", Paul said. This means that a short term shutdown of just a few hours could be over by the time government workers wake up Friday morning.

Earlier Thursday, Ryan expressed confidence that the bill, which delivers a military funding boost sought by the GOP alongside increases in domestic spending favored by Democrats, would pass.

Schumer said he and Pelosi are "working from the same page", appearing to discount speculation that she might oppose the coming pact.

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McConnell said Tuesday that while he hopes "we will end up having something", he was unsure if any proposed measure would get the 60 votes needed for approval. Federal funding for most government programs runs out at midnight.

Trump has offered to give the Dreamers protection from deportation and a pathway to citizenship over 10 to 12 years, but he wants in exchange $25 billion to fund his proposed US-Mexico border wall and tighter restrictions on legal immigration.

Rand Paul took to the Senate floor to argue against proposals that would increase government spending as part of a package of measures to keep the government open beyond midnight.

"You haven't convinced 60 or 52 senators that your idea is good enough to support", Tillis said.

Trump's comments were strikingly disconnected from the progress on Capitol Hill, where the House passed a short-term spending measure Tuesday night and Senate leaders were closing in on a larger, long-term pact after of a Thursday night deadline.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, among the most prominent hawks in Congress, mocked Paul on Twitter for the call to withdraw from Afghanistan, saying that would not be a good idea.

The budget bill, backed by Republican President Donald Trump, would end for some time the fiscal policy squabbling that has consumed Congress for months.

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Cotton growers and dairy farmers would get relief courtesy of the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee, while popular funding for community health centers would be extended for two years, among myriad health provisions.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., said Thursday on All Things Considered he also wouldn't vote for the Senate bill, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus also urged its members to oppose it. Republicans were almost unanimous in opposing that measure in their clamor for fiscal restraint in the face of growing deficits - demands largely drowned out now in the Trump era.

Some other veteran Democrats - some of whom said holding the budget deal hostage to action on Dreamer immigrants had already proven to be a failed strategy - appeared more likely to support the agreement than junior progressives elected in recent years.

The budget office says it would recommend to Trump that he sign the measure into law if Congress sends it to him in its current form.

The bipartisan compromise would provide the Pentagon and domestic programs with an extra $300 billion over the next two years.

Pelosi and other top Democrats say they want to force Republicans to agree to legal protections for DREAMers, including the roughly 700,000 immigrants who are in the USA illegally after being brought to the country as children and who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The first, conservative Republicans, worry the increased spending is fiscally irresponsible. But hurdles remain to avert the second shutdown in a month.

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