NEW YORK — GOP lawmakers are scrambling to find a way to pass a continuing resolution for the fiscal year without a major funding increase.
But they’re not sure they’ll be able to accomplish it without Democratic support.
The GOP-controlled Senate voted Wednesday night to begin debate on the $2.1 trillion bill.
Democrats are in a deadlock over funding for border security and the government’s operations in the Arctic.
GOP leaders, including Sen. Chuck Grassley Charles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyCotton says he will vote to confirm Kavanaugh GOP senator calls Kavanaugh to testify MORE (Iowa), are pressing ahead despite the fact that Republicans are unlikely to have enough votes to pass their own continuing resolution.
A failure would effectively strip Democrats of the ability to pass the spending measure through the Senate, leaving President Trump’s 2018 budget a non-starter for many Republicans.
Grassley has suggested that he could vote against the bill if it doesn’t have enough money to fund border security, and his fellow Republicans are also eager to vote against a continuing budget resolution.
It is a rare instance in the Senate where a party holds both chambers of Congress.
In the past, Republicans have avoided holding a vote on a budget resolution because it would be difficult for them to gain the votes needed to pass it in the chamber, and that is why they are now using the procedural tool to block Democrats.
Republicans are also hoping to avoid a shutdown.
While Republicans have vowed to defund the Obama administration’s border wall if the government does not fund it, there are a lot of Republicans who oppose a shutdown, and they have warned against allowing the White House to negotiate with Democrats over a funding package.
Trump and Vice President Pence are also expected to meet in the coming days to discuss the funding measure.
“We’ve been working hard over the past week and the president has indicated he wants to have that meeting,” Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP senator calls for Kavanaugh nomination to be withdrawn Cotton says he supports Kavanaugh despite new Kavanaugh allegations Cotton: I will vote for Kavanaugh ‘if we have to’ MORE (Ark.) said after the vote.
“I think he wants us to be able … to negotiate.”
In the last two years, Republicans in both chambers have blocked funding for the White Houses health care program, the border wall, and the border.
They are also in a tight race with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton makes history by becoming the first woman to lead fundraising for Senate Dems Obamas visit reopens after late summer recess Dem senators press Trump on keeping up pressure on Iran MORE for the backing of a bipartisan spending package in October.