Congress approves bill to avert government shutdown for a week

The newest 'Trumpcare' vote may already be in trouble — for the exact opposite reason as last time

US Congress readies votes Friday on bill to avert government shutdown

On the separate health care bill, House Republican leaders are still scrounging for votes from their own rank-and-file. The bill passed today gives Congress one more week to decide on a budget for the current year.

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the bill would go to a vote when it's ready. That was a disappointment for the administration, whose officials had pressured House leaders all week to try completing the health measure by Saturday.

"Say they pass it, even's largely unpassable in the Senate". It buys lawmakers time to wrap up negotiations on a larger, $1 trillion package to fund government operations through September 30, the end of the government's 2017 budget year. "And now the hot potato has moved to those of us that are typically the ones that cast the tough votes all the time - whether it's [voting to raise the] debt ceiling or its keeping the government open". In fact, the probes became headline news when House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., announced that he was going to the White House to brief Trump on sensitive material that he had not shared with Democrats on the committee. A provision extending health care for 22,000 retired Appalachian coal miners and their families had yet to be finalized, though it's a priority of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Sen. "There's still some [issues] to be negotiated", on a long-term deal, "but the negotiators were up 'til 1:30 last night ... so certainly we're willing to give it a few more days". But Democrats pushed back and were hopeful that the measure would not contain many items they deemed "poison pills".

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill, despite it not containing funding for some of his recent demands.

A shutdown would most probably trigger abrupt layoffs of hundreds of thousands of federal government workers until funding resumes. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the plan was to pass the bill "as soon as possible".

The provision would allow states to waive numerous regulations Obamacare slapped on insurers, which are some of the most popular parts of the law, including mental health coverage, maternity coverage and a ban on charging higher rates for patients with pre-existing conditions. They could also be exempted from Obama's mandate that insurers cover a list of services like hospitalization and substance abuse treatment and from its prohibition against charging older customers more than triple their rates for younger ones.

The overall legislation would cut the Medicaid programme for the poor, eliminate Mr Obama's fines for people who do not buy insurance and provide generally skimpier subsidies.

Centrist Republicans were the primary target of lobbying by the White House and GOP leaders seeking the 216 votes they would need to clinch passage of the health measure.

But the fate of the legislation appeared to be in doubt Thursday as leaders raced to get the support of moderate Republican lawmakers.

Republicans this week resurrected their health bill after initial efforts collapsed last month, when party moderates and conservatives failed to unite on how to repeal Obamacare.

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