President Trump warned Wednesday that a government shutdown “could happen” and sought to blame Democrats, accusing them of holding up talks on a spending deal with their demands for continued protections for immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi fired back in a tweet saying, “President Trump is the only person talking about a government shutdown.”
The real hold-up over a spending bill, Politico’s Rachael Bade and Sarah Ferris report, “is GOP infighting on the matter, according to multiple House GOP sources.”
The conservative House Freedom Caucus is working toward a deal with House Republican leaders that would secure the conservative group’s support for bill funding the government through December 22 in exchange for breaking out a separate defense funding bill in the next round of budget negotiations. That separate bill would provide a full year of military funding and raise spending caps enacted under the Budget Control Act of 2011. The conservatives also want Republican leaders to promise they won’t give in to Democratic demands that caps on defense and non-defense spending be raised in tandem. Democratic votes will be needed to pass a funding deal in the Senate.
“We’re hopeful that in the next few hours we’ll be able to figure out a strategy where we don’t have to rely on any Democrats to make this work, and I think that’s what we’re all about,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus.
If Freedom Caucus members don’t back a short-term spending bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan could turn to Democrats, who would have their own demands. The House is set to vote on the short-term spending bill Thursday.
This article was updated at 4:28 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 6.