Congress Races Against Time To Avoid Yet Another Shutdown

Lawmakers are reportedly scrapping several controversial riders in an effort to pass a massive bill to fund the government.

Lawmakers in Washington worked feverishly into the night on Monday to finalize a sweeping spending bill to fund the government through September and avert yet another government shutdown

Reports suggest lawmakers may scrap several controversial riders in an effort to get the bill passed before midnight on Friday, when funding for the government is set to dry up. Progress on the bill, which provides over a trillion dollars in funding, has been stymied by disagreements over President Donald Trump’s border wall and other several hot-button issues.

The White House has struggled to reach an agreement with Democrats on a plan to fund the wall in exchange for relief for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The program, which Trump last year decided to end, allows undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to temporarily remain in the U.S.

A bipartisan health care package will likely also be excluded from the spending bill, lawmakers told CNN. The measure would have included federal subsidies aimed at driving down insurance premiums in the Obamacare marketplace.  Negotiations over the measure reached an impasse, however, after GOP lawmakers insisted on new abortion restrictions on those insurance plans. 

Federal funding to support the Gateway Program, a construction project to expand a rail line between Newark, New Jersey and New York City, will likely also be scrapped from the omnibus bill. President Trump had previously threatened to veto the legislation if it included federal payments for the program.

Other contested measures that will likely also fall to the wayside include gun control and a reform of how sexual harassment claims are handled on Capitol Hill.

This is the third time in as many months that the federal government is facing a potential shutdown. It may also be the last battle over spending before the November midterm elections.

House lawmakers are hoping to end debate and vote on the bill by Wednesday so that their Senate colleagues have sufficient time to do the same before the Friday deadline.