Divisions among Republicans in Congress are making a government shutdown Friday a real possibility.
House Republicans do not have enough votes to avoid a government shutdown before money to keep the government functioning runs out on Friday at midnight, congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina, leader of the Freedom Caucus, said on Fox News Wednesday.
Late Tuesday night, House Republican leaders rallied behind a temporary fix, a continuing resolution that would punt the budget problem to February and keep the government running for now. But the fix leaves much to be desired for the party’s hard-line minority, and they’re not getting on board — yet. Republicans need 216 votes in the House and 60 in the Senate. There are 235 Republicans in the House, at least 20 of whom are part of Meadows' Freedom Caucus.
In addition to the Freedom Caucus in the House, a powerful GOP member of the Senate said he's against the concept of a temporary fix.
The plan includes six year of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and delays taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act. It does not include protections for people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration status, a program Trump nixed that expires in March. It’s unclear how many House Democrats are willing to block the Republican plan because it doesn’t include a DACA fix.
Meadows is pushing for an entire year of defense spending as part of any stopgap fix, a sure fire way to alienate Democrats. On Tuesday President Trump tweeted support for military funding and blamed Democrats for a potential shutdown over DACA.
With only 60 hours remaining before the deadline, Wednesday night is sure to be another late one for members of Congress.