Republican leadership eyes Thursday vote on stopgap bill, but passage is uncertain without Democratic support.
A divided Republican caucus scrambled Wednesday to unify ahead of yet another looming government shutdown that could cost the U.S. billions of dollars each day it goes on without resolution.
Lawmakers have until midnight Friday to broker some kind of agreement to fund the government. Most likely, they will vote on another short-term stopgap spending bill that will leave major policy disputes unresolved, continuing to punt issues further down field.
The latest Republican proposal would fund the government for 30 days and would include incentives for both sides to lend their support as the House leadership eyes a Thursday vote. It would include a six-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program and delay some taxes associated with former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
The Republican leadership has little room for error with Democrats threatening to withhold their support from any bill that does not reinstate protections for people brought to the U.S. illegally as minors, commonly referred to as "Dreamers". The proposal put forth Tuesday night does not include the immigration policy. President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last year, telling lawmakers to find a solution.
"No matter where you live in America, our families are our strongest resource & the bedrock of our communities. The idea that Republicans would deny immigrant families from staying together is inexcusable," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter.
So far, it is unclear if lawmakers can pass the continuing resolution with only Republican votes. They would need 218 votes, which the 246-seat caucus ostensibly has. But the House Freedom Caucus, a group of roughly 30 far-right Republicans, are split on their support.
Republicans have already started to shift the potential fallout to their Democratic colleagues.
"Typical. Democrats threaten to defund military, shut down fed gov't to grant citizenship to illegal aliens. They want NO border security, no borders at all or enforcement. Just more of the same BUT WORSE. Republicans looking out for U.S. citizens, taxpayers and troops in danger," Freedom Caucus member Rep. Scott DesJarlais wrote on Twitter.