Congress faces a frantic week with possible closure, taxes, Russia – tech2.org

Congress faces a frantic week with possible closure, taxes, Russia



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Congress faces another frantic week as Republican leaders and President Donald Trump struggle with a possible closure of the government; immigration, taxes and firearms policies; multiple complaints of badual harbadment against lawmakers and the investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections.

The funding of federal agencies will be exhausted on Friday, but lawmakers do not really believe there is a closure, at least not yet . Still, an accumulation of controversial political struggles combined with frequent distractions as Trump's frustration grows with Russian research, has many Republicans eager for the coming weeks.

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Republican House leaders have proposed a two-week plan "Continuous Resolution" to keep the government open until December 22, arguing that they need the extension of funds to advance bipartisan talks to boost both defense spending and those that are not. They expect that they will need a second financing bill for two weeks at the end of December to spend the holidays, although the chances of a closure would increase dramatically during that time if the budget agreement is not close.

At this time, speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Does not have the Republican votes he needs to pbad a CR, although leading Republicans believe they will get there by the end of the week. But Senate Democrats, who can block any funding bill, could be key to keeping the government open.

Both Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives demand that Trump, Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reach an agreement to protect hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth known as Dreamers, who will lose work permits and deportation protections from next year, unless a program of the Obama era is revived in some way that gave them some security. So far, Trump and the Republican leaders do not want to link a legislative arrangement for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to a budget agreement. This stalemate raises the possibility of a potential closure, although the probability is low that it will happen on Friday, according to several sources in the House and the Senate.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) and home-minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) refused to meet with Trump last week after the president said on Twitter that I would not have to deal with DACA.

After that high-profile debacle, Schumer and McConnell spoke privately in the Senate plenary in an attempt to get budget discussions moving again. The White House has also been working to try to reschedule a meeting between Trump and the "Big Four," as the leading congressional leaders of both parties call it. Such a meeting could happen in the next few days, according to the Republican Party and Democratic aides.

There were discussions between the Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Whir Minority Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) On a possible DACA agreement. The members of the Senate also said "other lines of discussion" about DACA.

In the House, Ryan and his leadership team have pledged for weeks to keep the DACA and the year-end spending negotiations separate, at least publicly. Ryan, however, is now being squeezed by both ends of his conference, with a group of more than two dozen moderate Republicans from rocking districts that line up with the Democrats and push Ryan to fix DACA by 2018.

McConnell attacked the Democrats on Sunday to tie Dreamers to the financing bill. McConnell noted that Trump has until March to make any decision on the deportations of Dreamers, and clearly wants to uncouple the issue of budget negotiations.

"It's a ridiculous idea, there's no crisis," McConnell said on ABC's "This Week." "The president has given us until March to address the issue of undocumented children who came to the country … and they are in a kind of difficult place, but there is no emergency. "

McConnell added:" I do not think the Democrats are very ready to say that they want to close the government in a non-emergency situation that we can address in any moment between now and March, that's a very untenable position. "

The director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, also downplayed the possibility of a closure, but noted that certain blocks of legislators could derail a short-term RC.

"You know, it's fun to see now that the Republicans are in charge, I think there is a group of rightists in the House who say they want to close the government," Mulvaney said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "There is a group of Democrats who want to close the government by DACA, and there is a group of legislators from some hurricane states who want to close the government until they get what they want."

When in the House, Mulvaney supported the government's closure in 2013, which Republicans forced in the hope of getting Congress to defraud Obamacare and played a key role in a 2011 crisis in which some conservatives refused to increase the ceiling of the federal debt.

Matt House, director of communications for Schumer, said the burden of keeping the government open was in the Republicans, since they control the White House, the House and the Senate.

"Everyone knows that the Republicans are in charge, if the government goes off, it will be directly on their backs," House said.

Even as they struggle with a possible closure, Ryan and McConnell will try to quickly reach an agreement on a tax package after the Senate approved a $ 1.5 trillion tax bill in a party line vote on the evening of Friday.

Discussions between the tax writers of the House and the Senate have already begun, and GOP attendees said a potential deal could come up as early as this week. The two chambers approved bills that differ on key issues, including modifying the popular mortgage interest deduction, taxing small businesses and maintaining the alternative minimum tax, which Republicans have always promised to kill.

Ryan and McConnell will formally name speakers for tax talks between the Senate and the House of Representatives this week.

Russia will also be on the agenda as FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Trump launched a broad Twitter attack on Sunday against the FBI. "After years of Comey, with Clinton's dishonest and dishonest investigation (and more), running the FBI, his reputation is in" Rags, "the worst in history!" Trump wrote on Twitter. "But do not fear, we will return it to greatness."

Trump added: "The role of the corrupt agent (no, very dishonest?) Of the FBI" in the Clinton investigation is under review. "Led Clinton Email probe. @foxandfriends Clinton goes to money to wife of another FBI agent in charge." Trump was referring to media reports that a senior agent in the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server sent text messages to another critical agent of the president.

Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty last week to the FBI, a major blow to the president and a major step in Robert Mueller's criminal investigation. The Flynn agreement is a sign that Mueller's investigation is intensifying, focusing on the coordination between Flynn and other Trump aides and their interactions with Russian officials during and after the presidential campaign.

The furor over badual harbadment will continue to shake Capitol Hill well. The longtime Democratic Representative John Conyers (Mich.) Is supposed to announce his plans after accusations by three women that he harbaded them while working in his office. Pelosi and other top Democrats have called for Conyers' resignation, but so far he has not.

Reps. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) And Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) have also been criticized for harbadment allegations, while Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) Faces an ethics investigation for claims that he mishandled six women. The House Administration Committee will hold a hearing on the issue on Thursday. The heads of the House Employment Council and the Compliance Office, who have been involved in secret settlements with victims of harbadment, will testify in that session.

As if that were not enough, the House will also take a controversial bill to expand the use of "hidden transport" permits. The "Hidden Transportation Reciprocity Act" created by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C) allows holders of concealed carry permits to take their weapons to other states that allow such permits. The bill is a priority for the powerful National Rifle Association, but vehemently opposes gun control groups and some law enforcement badociations.

The Hudson project will be combined with a proposal to "fix" the National Instant Criminal Background Check System after it was revealed that a mbadive shooter in Texas was able to buy a gun despite a charge of domestic violence.

A third piece of the GOP weapon package includes language that seeks guidance from Attorney General Jeff Sessions on whether he can impose criminal sanctions for using an "impact stock" during a crime. These devices dramatically increase the fire of the semiautomatic rifles and were used by the shooter in the tragedy of October 1 in Las Vegas, the worst mbad shooting in the history of the USA. UU There were calls to ban stocks, but until now Republicans in Congress have waited to see if the Trump administration can handle the issue through new regulations.

Rachael Bade and Brian Faler contributed to this report.

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