Pete Aguilar

Senate Passes Budget Deal With Shutdown Underway
Prospects for House action are less clear

Congress was in session late again into Friday as appropriations lapsed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate passed the bipartisan budget agreement in the wee hours of Friday morning, with a brief government shutdown having already kicked in.

The 71-28 vote on the $320 billion package that would reopen the government through March 23 sends the measure to the House, where the prospects are believed to be more precarious. The House vote may not take place until some federal workers are already on their way to work Friday morning.

GOP Face of Democratic DACA Demand Not Supporting Leverage Move
Hurd: ‘I don’t know why there’s reticence to having a vote on something like this.’

Texas Rep. Will Hurd doesn’t want to risk a government shutdown for a vote on his immigration bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have a ransom problem. A key ally doesn’t support them holding this specific “hostage.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and some Democrats are trying to leverage the budget vote to extract a vote on an unrelated immigration bill.

Ryan Offers Immigration Commitment But Not One Pelosi Wants
Speaker says he does not want to risk a veto, even of a bipartisan bill

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., says he is committed to consider an immigration issue, but that does not appear to be enough for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday offered a commitment to consider immigration legislation, but it’s not the one House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi requested.

“I can’t speak to what our rule is going to look like,” Ryan said. “I can say that we are going to bring a DACA bill to the floor because we want a solution to this problem.”

Pelosi to Vote ‘No’ on Budget, But Won’t Whip Caucus
Minority leader generally agrees with bill contents, opposes process, she says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks with reporters as she leaves the House chamber in the Capitol after holding a floor speech focusing on DACA for more than eight hours Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she will vote against the budget deal needed to keep the government open past midnight but will not whip her caucus to vote the same way.

Pelosi’s decision means there’s a better chance — but no guarantee — that enough Democrats will offset Republican defections to pass the measure in the House.

House Leaders Face Threats of Intraparty Rebellion on Budget Deal
Conservatives are already balking and DACA proponents could be right behind

Speaker Paul D. Ryan arrives in the Capitol on Jan. 29. Ryan is already facing conservative opposition from his GOP conference to the reported budget deal in the works. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Republicans’ day of reckoning is almost here.

As early as Wednesday, the four corners of congressional leadership are expected to announce a sweeping budget deal that could increase the sequestration spending caps by nearly $300 billion over two years, extend the debt ceiling without any spending changes designed to reduce the deficit, and appropriate more than $80 billion for disaster relief without pay-fors.

House Democrats to Leverage Budget Caps Support for Immigration Vote
Minority party wants Ryan to commit to House floor debate on DACA

From left, Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer hold a news conference on Jan. 19 to blame Republicans for a potential government shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are ready to play their trump card.

For months they’ve withheld support for stopgap spending bills in search of a broader budget agreement on lifting the sequestration spending caps and providing a legislative replacement to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that is scheduled to end March 5.

Trump Swats Down McCain-Coons Immigration Proposal
Would offer path to citizenship for Dreamers, but leaves out immediate funding for border wall

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., is set to introduce legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump shot down an immigration proposal that is expected to be unveiled by Sens. John McCain and Chris Coons to solve the impasse over undocumented childhood arrivals.

The legislation would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived as children with their parents and would also provide money for border security measures. 

House GOP to Senate: You Can’t Bind Us
House conservatives unlikely to sign on to any Senate immigration deal

A tourist stops to read a sign posted outside the Library of Congress in Washington on Sunday, notifying visitors that all LOC buildings will be closed to the public in the event of a temporary government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If a bipartisan group of some 20 senators trying to negotiate a deal on immigration to end the government shutdown are looking for a commitment from House Republicans, they’re unlikely to get one.

Rank-and-file GOP members said the House will not be bound by any agreement reached across the Capitol on immigration, something Senate Democrats say is key to ending their filibuster of a three-week stopgap bill the chamber is planning to vote on around 1 a.m. Monday.

How the No. 2 Leaders Have Taken Over the DACA Debate
Talks between Hill’s second-in-command honchos represents best shot at accord

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has spearheaded the immigration negotiations among the Hill’s No. 2 leaders. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The No. 2s. The deputies. The gang of four.

There are a lot of names for the four congressional leaders engaged in bipartisan, bicameral talks on immigration, but one thing has become increasingly clear over the past week: The group is Congress’s best shot at reaching an elusive deal to protect young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation.

Paul Ryan Caught Between Freedom Caucus, Democrats
Lacking votes on resolving shutdown, speaker will need to negotiate with one or the other

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have just a couple of days left to round up support to avoid a government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Likely short of the votes he needs to pass a stopgap government funding bill through his chamber by Friday, Speaker Paul D. Ryan spent Wednesday morning railing against Democrats — whose votes he may need to court.

A four-week continuing resolution that GOP leaders unveiled Tuesday night faces opposition from members of the House Freedom Caucus who want immediate action to increase defense spending and from Democrats who want a resolution this week on the status of some 690,000 young immigrants, known as Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.