A US Government Funding bill To Sustain Operations Narrowly Passes Congress

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A bill to fund the trump administration has narrowly passed in the House of Representatives of Congress to keep government operations from shutting down. On the night, not Thursday this week, the legislation was passed by a 230-197 majority which would see the US federal government operations funded till February 16 this year. The bill also gives an extension to the Children’s Health Insurance Program otherwise known as Chip for the next six fiscal years. Chip was an incentive that has been pushed by Republican lawmakers through both Houses of Congress.

However, this bill goes without addressing the immigrants who were brought to American soil as children who are known as ‘Dreamers’ who happen to be undocumented by the US Immigration Department. The more than 600,000 young immigrants are set to lose the protection from deportation in March this year after president Trump said that he would rescind the Differed Action Against Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. One of the top priorities for the Democratic Party for a while now has been the protection of DACA recipients and lobbying for the program’s funding from the Trump administration. Without any provisions for DACA in the Federal government funding bill, only six lawmakers from the Democratic Party voted for the bill.

The legislation now awaits approval from the Senate chambers where 60 senators have to vote for the bill to avoid a filibuster. However, liberal lawmakers in the Senate have enough numbers to have the legislation blocked from proceeding and eventual approval to become law and take effect. The federal government risks shutting down if no bipartisan agreement is reached before the end of Saturday. In such an event, only the essential US federal government functions will operate such as the US military which will leave most of the national employees on furlough. The federal government shut down for 16 days in 2013 when the Obama administration failed to garner enough numbers in both houses of Congress to pass the same legislation.

In 2013, an acrimonious debate ensued in the Senate chambers where lawmakers from both the Republican and the Democratic Party exchanged jabs about who the blame was on after the federal government had shut down for more than two weeks. The leader of the Democratic Party in the House, Chuck Schumer said that he was optimistic that a bipartisan deal for the short-term would be struck to allow the funding of the federal government for a while so that the legislators would reach a final deal on immigration policies.

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