U.S. House could accept bill extending government funding for 3 weeks

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Sunday that the House of Representatives would accept a bill funding the government through Feb. 8 and ending the current shutdown of federal agencies, if the Senate can pass the measure.

“We’ve agreed that we would accept that in the House,” Ryan said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “So we will see sometime today whether or not they have the votes for that [in the Senate].”

Senate Republican leaders have said the chamber will vote on the measure to fund the government through Feb. 8 at 1 a.m. ET on Monday, unless Democrats agree to hold the vote sooner.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, speaks during a news conference on Saturday after U.S. President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress failed to reach a deal on funding for federal agencies. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that if the government shutdown stalemate continued, Republicans should ensure that funding by changing Senate rules, which currently require a super-majority for appropriations bills to pass.

“The Dems [Democrats] just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, epublicans should go to 51 per cent (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget,” Trump said on Twitter.

Trump’s proposal was almost immediately rejected by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Republicans oppose changing the chamber’s rules so that legislation to fund the government and end the current shutdown could pass with a simple majority, the spokesman said.

“The Republican Conference opposes changing the rules on legislation,” the spokesman said in an email.

Current Senate rules require a super-majority of three-fifths of the chamber, usually 60 out of 100, for legislation to clear procedural hurdles and pass.

Funding for federal agencies ran out Saturday with Trump and Republican lawmakers locked in a standoff with Democrats.

Democrats have said short-term spending legislation must include protections for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children, known as “Dreamers.” Republicans, who have a slim 51-49 Senate majority, said they would not negotiate on immigration until the government was reopened.

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