With shutdown clock ticking, GOP struggles for spending deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a shutdown clock ticking toward a midnight Friday deadline, House Republican leaders struggled on Wednesday to unite the GOP rank and file behind a must-pass spending bill.

Although a major obstacle evaporated after key GOP senators dropped a demand to add health insurance subsidies for the poor, a number of defense hawks offered resistance to a plan by GOP leaders to punt a guns-versus-butter battle with Democrats into the new year.

There’s still plenty of time to avert a politically debilitating government shutdown, which would detract from the party’s success this week in muscling through their landmark tax bill.

Some lawmakers from hurricane-hit states also worried that an $81 billion disaster aid bill was at risk of getting left behind in the rush to exit Washington for the holidays.

Lawmakers said the GOP vote-counting team would assess support for the plan and GOP leaders would set a course of action from there.

Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said “there’s no specific direction right now” about the path forward. He spoke after an hourlong closed-door meeting of Republicans in the Capitol basement.

Full Story: AP News

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