Can Democrats force a litmus test on DACA?


As Republicans in Congress scramble for the votes needed to pass a fourth temporary funding bill to avoid a government shutdown, House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows wants the House to look beyond the four-week measure.

Parts of the government will shut down if Congress can not pass a spending bill by the end of Friday.

Democrats want the bill to include protections for immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children.

Many of them fear that voters will fault the GOP after looking at Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, his past flirtation with letting federal funding expire and the fact that Republicans are in control of the White House, the Senate and the House.

In a bid to pressure Democrats, GOP leaders also included a long-delayed, six-year renewal of the health insurance program for children of low-income families.

"None of us like to be in this position", Simpson said, adding that he plans to vote for the bill and expects it to have enough Republican support to pass the House. To win over House Republicans, there are delays to several taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act, including the medical-device tax and the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost insurance plans.

Democrats want the bill to include protections for around 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to country as children, known as "Dreamers".

"There is no reason why Congress should hold government funding hostage over the issues of illegal immigration", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said a resolution on DACA could wait until February or March.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican who helped craft a bipartisan immigration deal that Trump rejected last week, said he would not vote for another stopgap measure. Democrats said they're still unlikely to support the measure without an agreement on immigration.

Trump has made their mission no easier, as he took to Twitter Tuesday to say "The Democrats want to shut down the Government over Amnesty for all".

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And along those lines: The Freedom Caucus is precisely why Senate Democrats were mostly keeping their powder dry on Tuesday regarding a possible shutdown.

But other Democrats downplayed the level of opposition to the short-term spending bill, with many saying they had not made up their minds.

Flake also said he believes support for the measure will grow.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said Wednesday there's "very, very strong" sentiment among Democrats in the chamber to oppose GOP-drafted legislation to keep the government's doors open, comments that could indicate the chances are increasing that the government could shut down at midnight Friday night. Michael Bennet (D., Col.) said Sunday that Congress should stop shutting down the government after he was asked by NBC's Chuck Todd if he would be willing to do so to protect the Dreamers. "Time is running out", he said. "You know, we could do the same thing on immigration".

On the continuing resolution, Democrats have a newfound ally on the Republican side. Sen.

Separately, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other Democrats met privately in the Capitol with White House chief of staff John Kelly, and some emerged citing little progress. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., the minority whip, publicly confirmed what the president said during a closed-door negotiation, declaring that Trump "said things that were hate-filled, vile and racist", and adding, "I can not believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday". Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows told reporters on Tuesday that numerous group's members were not fans of strategy and that the Obamacare tax delays - created to win over conservatives - were simply "gimmicks".

With Graham a "no", Republicans will need at least 10 Democrats to join them in supporting the bill - and possibly 11 if Sen. Some Democrats are demanding a deal as a condition for their vote to keep agencies afloat.

Most centrist Democrats would not say how they meant to vote, but Jonathan Kott, spokesman for Sen.

MARTIN: But could they do that without Democratic support?