- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 18, 2018

The House on Thursday voted to officially start debate on a temporary spending bill that would avert a partial government shutdown, though significant hurdles to final passage remained at both ends of the Capitol.

The House passed the rules for debate on the bill, which would extend government funding for four weeks, on a 226-194 vote.

The package also includes a six-year extension of the children’s health insurance program (CHIP) and delays several Obamacare taxes.

“A vote against the underlying legislation is a vote to shut down the government of the United States,” said Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican and vice chairman of the House Rules Committee, which sets the parameters of debate.

Democrats, though, want the legislation to be paired with a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is set to phase out in March.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had already said earlier in the day her members planned to oppose the funding plan, saying the CHIP extension as outlined isn’t sufficient.

“This is like giving you a bowl of doggy doo, put a cherry on top and call it a chocolate sundae,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

The federal government faces the prospect of a partial shutdown if Congress does not act before Saturday.

Anything that passes the House would also have to pass the Senate, and the prospects there were anything but certain on Thursday as well.

The funding measure needs 60 votes to pass, meaning Republicans will need to win over at least nine Democrats to avert a shutdown.

But that number is likely even higher, as several Republican senators, including Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Rand Paul of Kentucky, also said they’re prepared to vote against the plan.

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