Schumer says very short-term funding would be OK

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says Senate Democrats would support a "very short-term" government-wide funding bill to avert a shutdown.

The New York Democrat says his party would accept a stopgap funding bill to keep the government open for a few days to buy time to "get the job done" in talks on immigration legislation.

But he says a House-passed spending bill that would keep the government open for another month would merely "kick the can down the road," and says Democrats will block it.

Schumer is blaming a potential shutdown on chaos among Republicans, saying President Donald Trump is too erratic a negotiating partner.



WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans are blaming a potential government shutdown on Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

Ryan and other GOP leaders are urging Schumer and Senate Democrats to support a four-week spending bill approved by the House Thursday night, saying they were the only ones standing in the way of keeping the government open.

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, an avid photographer, showed up at the GOP news conference to take pictures.

Leahy says: "It's hard for anybody with a straight face to say, `Republicans control the presidency, the House and the Senate. I hope Democrats won't close us down.' I tried it on a very Republican group in Vermont and they couldn't stop laughing."

The Senate's top Republican is blaming a potential government shutdown this weekend on Democratic demands for legislation to give protection against deportation to immigrants brought to the country illegally.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says demands by Democrats for a deal on these so-called "Dreamers" has "crowded out" the rest of the Senate's business, including keeping the government open.

The Kentucky Republican points out that during the most recent shutdown in 2013, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer attacked Republicans for shutting the government down by demanding unrelated language to try to block implementation of then-President Barack Obama's health care law.

McConnell is citing a quote from 2013 in which Schumer said making demands for an immigration overhaul as a condition of keeping the government open would result in "chaos."



WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House has passed a temporary government-wide funding bill that would avert a government shutdown this weekend.

The measure still faces iffy prospects in the Senate, where Democrats are poised to block it in hopes of spurring slow-moving talks on immigration.

The measure would keep the government running through Feb. 16. The government faces a partial shutdown at midnight Friday, an outcome both sides say they want to avoid but one that seems increasingly possible.

The 230-197 vote came after an influential bloc of House conservatives won promises of future action on separate legislation to bolster the military and tighten immigration laws. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows announced the group's support after talks with House GOP leaders and President Donald Trump.