US government runs out of money in 10 days

Congress is tasked with passing a budget to avoid a government shutdown while lawmakers argue over the specifics

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Capitol is seen at sunrise, in Washington. The crush of unfinished business facing lawmakers when they return to the Capitol this week would be daunting even if Washington were functioning at peak efficiency. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Capitol is seen at sunrise, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Ten days is all the time that Congress has left to avoid a government shutdown.

Lawmakers are scrambling to reach a deal on several issues including immigration, the opioid crisis and military spending.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there’s no deal, at least not yet, to avoid a government shutdown on January 19.

One of the hang-ups is immigration.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats want the budget bill to include a law to replace DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and protect 800,000 young immigrants from deportation.

“We should come up with a plan here that Democrats and Republicans agree on in terms of DACA,” he said.

But McConnell said he won’t let the debate over immigration derail the federal budge.

“I will call up a DACA bill that I know the president will sign, but it will not be a part of an overall spending agreement,” he said.

Republicans insist their budget, which adds billions in military spending, is essential for national security.

But Democrats said the current budget ignores the needs of most Americans. They want more spending on programs here at home.

While Congress bickers, some lawmakers are working to add their own priorities to the budget.

Both of New Hampshire’s senators want an additional $25 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.

“It’s important that as we budget for defense of this nation, that we don’t short thrift our domestic needs, especially as something as important as this opioid epidemic,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

As lawmakers pile on new demands, negotiations could get more difficult.

White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said it’s possible that Congress may pass another temporary spending plan, instead of a final budget.

“I don’t think anybody wants a government shutdown,” he said.

For Congress, the clock is ticking.

The government runs out of money in 10 days.


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