Lawmakers rush to gather support for spending bill as shutdown looms

By  | 

By: Nancy Cordes | CBS News
February 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) -- It's a race against the clock for Congress to reach an agreement to fund the government and avoid another shutdown by midnight. With time ticking, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, made the case to his own conservative members.

"I mean, what, we're not going to rebuild Houston? We're not going to rebuild Florida?" Ryan wondered aloud.

On Thursday night, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, railed against government spending on everything from Afghanistan to misspent funds diverted from school lunch programs, saying both parties are, "spending us into oblivion." Paul eventually yielded the floor.

But there may not be enough votes, with hours left to go.

The bipartisan deal contains $90 billion in disaster relief and adds $165 billion to the military's budget over the next two years.

"How do you go to a military installation if you vote no?" Sen. Lindsey Graham said.

But fiscal hawks in the conservative House Freedom Caucus are balking at the deal's new domestic spending, which they say "adds to the swamp instead of draining it."

"Even drunk sailors never spent money this recklessly," Rep. John Duncan, R-Tennessee, said.

The GOP defections are forcing Republican leaders to court Democratic votes. But there too they have a problem.

"Give us a chance to have a vote on the floor," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday.

Pelosi commandeered the House floor for a record-breaking 8 hours Wednesday, refusing to vote for the package without a promise from the speaker on moderate legislation to protect the so-called "Dreamers."

Ryan will only commit to immigration legislation backed by President Trump. But the president is known to change his mind from time to time, so CBS News asked Ryan, why not allow a vote on a bipartisan plan and see if Mr. Trump will support it?

"Look, I want to make sure we get it right the first time," he replied. "I don't want to just risk a veto. I want to actually get it done the first time and I think we can get there."

Mr. Trump does support this spending deal, and that should help with some wavering conservatives. The Senate is expected to pass the bill Thursday night and then the question is, will the House follow suit before the midnight deadline?



 
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus