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Democrats Won’t Support Another Stopgap, Hoyer Says

… Even if it’s clean

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says he'd like to have all 12 spending bills done by the end of June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says he'd like to have all 12 spending bills done by the end of June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats will not support another clean continuing resolution that would allow Republicans to continue shirking their governing responsibilities, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday.

The Maryland Democrat named several “must pass” bills Republicans have yet to get through Congress, including reauthorizations of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as the next disaster supplemental and legislation providing a path to legal status for immigrants brought illegally into the country as children.

“There’s no more time to get these things done,” Hoyer said.

Republicans “are not going to bludgeon us into ignoring issues just because they ignore issues,” he said. “And they think they have the votes. We’ll see.”

The two-week CR that Congress passed last week expires Dec. 22. While 14 House Democrats voted for that CR, Hoyer said they would not have helped Republicans pass it if the GOP didn’t have the votes.

Senate Democrats helped get that CR through their chamber, but Hoyer said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer has said they won’t support another stopgap measure.

House Republicans have been talking about a combination measure that would fully fund defense appropriations through the end of the fiscal year but use a CR to keep the remaining agencies funded into January.

Hoyer said that wouldn’t get Democratic support and couldn’t pass the Senate.

“That’s jamming what they want through,” he said.

Nonetheless, Speaker Paul D. Ryan indicated Tuesday that’s what House Republicans will pass.

“We’re going to put together a bill that reflects our priorities and send that over to the Senate after tax reform,” the Wisconsin Republican said.

If the Senate does not act on that measure, as is expected, a clean CR into January is likely among the backup plans Republicans are considering, making Democrats’ opposition to such a move problematic.

President Donald Trump said he wants Congress to send him a clean funding measure that includes a full-year Pentagon appropriations bill — though he did not specify how long the nondefense portion should extend.

Democrats’ push to pass a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, before the Christmas break continues to impede. Ryan reiterated Tuesday that’s not on the table as part of a year-end deal but Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi continue to call for it.

“We are in the process of negotiating with Republicans to provide a significant investment in border security in exchange for DACA,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “These talks continue to progress, and I’m hopeful we can reach an agreement on that issue as well.”

John T. Bennett and Jennifer Shutt contributed to this report.

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