Lawmakers express optimism about averting another government shutdown

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With one week to avert another government shutdown, lawmakers tasked with coming up with a deal to keep things running have expressed optimism.

But they haven’t announced a firm plan, and the clock is ticking.

There’s some optimism on Capitol Hill about avoiding another shutdown, but there’s still work to be done.

“I’m hopeful we’ll come to a conclusion. We need to this weekend so we can vote next week.”

Beyond if and when negotiators can reach a deal and how quickly Congress can pass it, is the biggest question of all.

“I’m absolutely confident that the members of the conference committee are going to come up with a good deal. The question is whether the President will go along with it.”

Lead Senate Republican Negotiator Richard Shelby visited President Trump on Thursday.

“If we can work within some of the parameters that we’ve talked about today, that we’ll keep to ourselves right now, I think he will sign it.”

Republicans have been willing to go lower than the president’s $5.7 billion request for border wall funding.

Democrats have signaled flexibility on money for barriers.

Other areas of negotiation include border personnel and detention beds. Republicans want more, Democrats, less.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s been taking a hands-off approach.

“Just let them do their work. And hopefully that will get some good news in a short period of time, and certainly in time for the deadline.”

While the border wall battle and Homeland Security spending have taken center stage, the StopGap measure that expires on February 15th is currently funding nine of 15 federal departments, with 800,000 employees.

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(This story was originally published on February 8, 2019)

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