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>> Republicans are still basking in the glow of their victory on the tax bill, but they won't be able to celebrate for long with a threat of a disruptive government shutdown looming at midnight on Friday. Without a quick agreement on Capitol Hill, many federal agencies and services will come to a halt just days before Christmas, ruining the Republicans' party over tax relief.
To avoid that, GOP leaders and Congress want to pass a one-month extension of federal funding and fight it out with the Democrats after the holidays. They hope to set up a vote later on Thursday. But, that plan is running into trouble because Democrats and some other Republicans say they won't go along unless Congress takes action on a stack of other business still left undone.
>> If they want us to vote for some bills, we have to have some cooperation of what they are.>> Democrats have vowed not to leave town without a deal on DACA. That's the program shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. They want assurances DACA will be protected in exchange for their votes to to keep the government lights on, but that's just for starters.
Then there's the Children's Health Insurance Program, which helps millions of low-income families pay their medical bills. It's set to expire at year's end without action from Congress, and lawmakers on both sides are digging in their heels on how to pay for it. Congress has also yet to approve $81 billion to help Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida recover from this year's brutal hurricanes.
And if that wasn't enough, at the end of the year a key anti-terror domestic spying law is set to expire unless lawmakers renew it. But, they remain deeply divided over the details. Each of these would constitute a ticking time bomb on its own in deeply divided Washington, but now Congress has to somehow find a way to defuse them all before the coming weekend.
One option is to roll all of them into one big bill along with the extended funding, but exactly how to do that so far is not clear, with time running out. All of this making for a tumultuous final 24 hours in Washington before anyone can enjoy the holidays.