House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is urging her Democratic colleagues to vote against a bill to fund the government past Dec. 22, putting pressure on House Republicans to come up with a plan their conference can carry.
The California Democrat says she and Senate Democrats are insisting on parity for domestic and national security spending, as well as a solution for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. Until they get those assurances, she wrote in a Dear Colleague letter, “we continue to urge a strong NO on the Continuing Resolution.”
Leaders of both parties have acknowledged that a broad spending deal is unlikely by the Dec. 22 funding deadline. The issues Pelosi lists are expected to be deferred until January, but she is clearly not pleased with that.
Pelosi’s signal that House Democrats won’t help pass a CR complicates already difficult negotiations for House Republicans. GOP leaders have dropped a plan to pass a full-year defense appropriations bill and are planning to pitch their conference during a 5 p.m. meeting on a somewhat clean continuing resolution for all agencies into January.
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If House Republicans can’t get on board with that plan, the likelihood of a government shutdown significantly increases.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer has also signaled issues with the developing GOP plan, including ways of getting around spending caps put in place by the Budget Control Act.
However, Schumer suggested Democrats might be open to pushing spending negotiations into January so long as it’s truly a clean stopgap measure that would clear the way for a broader spending deal addressing Democratic priorities, including a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“We cannot do a short-term funding bill that picks and chooses which problems to solve and which not to solve,” Schumer said. “It has to be a truly global deal. We can’t leave any issues behind.”
Joe Williams and Jennifer Shutt contributed to this report.