One of the House's conservative leaders indicated today that Republicans have the votes needed to approve legislation preventing a weekend partial government shutdown.
With Senate passage also considered likely, the remarks by Rep Mark Meadows seemed to erase any doubt that Congress would approve legislation keeping federal agencies afloat through December 22. Their money runs out at midnight Friday without approval of fresh funding.
But hours before President Donald Trump was to bargain with congressional leaders at the White House over long-term budget decisions, Meadows, who heads the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, says the group would oppose any agreement they feel allows excessive federal spending.
"I want to avoid a headline that says President Trump's administration just passes the highest spending levels in U.S. history," Meadows told two reporters.
"There will be zero support on numbers that are too high, regardless of anybody's position on that."
Meadows said House Majority Whip Steve Scalise told him Republicans have the votes they'll need to approve the short- term spending measure Thursday. Freedom Caucus members will likely give leaders whatever votes they need to pass the legislation, Meadows said.
Many conservatives had been threatening to oppose the measure. Meadows says they'll help it pass to avoid distractions from the GOP drive to push their USD 1.5 trillion tax bill through Congress this month.
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