House passes bill to avert government shutdown

Kevin Brady, GOP leaders moving to final stage of delivering tax reform bill

Kevin Brady, GOP leaders moving to final stage of delivering tax reform bill

Spokesmen for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said GOP leaders "stressed the need to address border security, interior enforcement and other parts of our broken immigration system", adding that the tricky immigration issue "should be a separate process and not used to hold hostage funding for our men and women in uniform".

Expected to join the White House meeting Thursday, according to congressional aides, are Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney.

The bill made it through the House on a close vote and was nearly immediately passed by the Senate.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of hard-line conservatives who have bucked GOP leaders on past government spending bills, warned that any bipartisan deal on spending risked a Republican revolt later this month. Lawmakers passed it in a 235-193 vote.

"Until we get those assurances, we are just kicking a can down the road", said Republican Representative Andy Biggs, a member of the Freedom Caucus.

There was some concern that it could fail in the House after members of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus made demands for the spending bill, including extending the short-term deadline to December 30 and increased defense spending. Previously, Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi backed out due to a tweet from Trump attacking the pair for their shutdown bill requests.

Under a 10-year budget deal struck in 2011, Congress may appropriate a maximum of $549 billion for defense programs and $516 billion for nondefense programs next year.

Mr. Trump has rescinded the so-called DACA deportation amnesty that was ordered by former President Barack Obama, leaving Congress until March to act, but some Democrats want to deal with it now.

Pelosi said Democrats will oppose today's expected vote because the legislation lacks funding to address opioid addiction, pensions, community health centers, veteran funding, children's health insurance funding, the Dream Act and emergency disaster relief.

More than a dozen Democrats offered support once passage was no longer in doubt.

Mrs. Pelosi said taking care of defense, while ignoring domestic program, is a nonstarter.