Funding Impasse Looms Ahead of Possible US Government Shutdown

The U.S. Congress is poised to deadlock on extending government funding two days before another possible federal shutdown. The Republican-led House of Representatives is expected to pass a bill that funds the U.S. military for the rest of the fiscal year but extends domestic funding for just six weeks — something Senate Democrats are pledging to block.

Republicans, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, say national defense must come first with yearlong funding while negotiations continue on domestic spending levels.

“Senators on both sides of the aisle say they agree that our war-fighters deserve sufficient, stable funding to fulfill the missions and tasks their country assigns them,” he said.

Democrats say health care and other domestic needs are just as vital.

“We [Democrats] support an increase in funding for our military and our middle class,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “The two are not mutually exclusive. We don’t want to do just one and leave the other behind.

U.S. government funding has been extended four times since late last year and is set to expire once again at midnight Thursday. Further complicating the picture is a continuing stand-off on immigration reform, with President Donald Trump and conservative Republicans so far unable to reach a deal with Democrats to protect young undocumented immigrants brought to America as children who will be at risk of deportation next month.

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