POLITICS

The next two weeks will make or break the first year of Trump’s presidency


Now that the terrible Republican tax reform has passed, lawmakers are bracing for the next fight.  The current legislation funding expires on December 8th. Without new legislation, the government could go into a partial shutdown.

How this all plays out – especially in light of the fact that he has no other significant legislative victories under his belt – will clearly define whether Trump receives a passing or failing grade for his first year (among his supporters, that is).

As is typical, both Democrats and Republicans will most likely try to attach other legislation to the funding package.  Of course, doing this complicates voting in regards to funding, but there is a lot on the line.

Likely to be included with the funding package are provisions for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); President Donald Trump’s often-discussed southern border wall; more disaster relief funds for Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida, and the US Virgin Islands; and the Alexander-Murray Obamacare-stabilization bill.

Several states are perilously close to running out of funding for CHIP, which usually receives bipartisan support. The others are more problematic.   Congress has until March 5, 2018, to make a decision about DACA and the fates of nearly 800,000 young immigrants.  Trump has implied that any compromise made in regards to DACA must include funding for his border wall.  And because DACA is part of former president Barack Obama’s legacy, it will be a hard sell to Republicans.

The Alexander-Murray Obamacare-stabilization bill will also irk Republicans.  The bill is designed to extend funding for government funding to insurers and otherwise steady the ACA markets.  Given their dozens of failed attempts to dismantle the ACA altogether, it stands to reason Republicans will resist the bill.

Given that lawmakers have only a few days to pass funding, and the amount of issues they might try to tack on to any package, it seems unlikely that they will avoid a partial shutdown of the government.


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