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Trump sows confusion as Republicans scramble to avert shutdown

January 18, 2018 4:11 pm

President Donald Trump has appeared to undercut his party’s attempts to reach a budget deal with Democrats, on the eve of a possible government shutdown.

In a tweet, the Republican president criticised a sweetener added to the spending bill by congressional leaders to win Democratic lawmakers’ votes.

The White House later had to issue a statement maintaining the president fully endorsed the short-term measure.

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The last US shutdown occurred in 2013 and lasted for 16 days.
What happens next?

The House of Representatives is due to vote on the spending measure on Thursday afternoon.

But it is unclear if there are enough votes to pass it in either the House or Senate.

At least some Democratic votes are needed to pass the budget measure ahead of the Friday midnight deadline.

Republican leaders also face resistance from their rank-and-file conservatives, who are demanding more military spending, among other things.

This so-called stopgap spending measure would keep federal agencies funded only until 16 February.

The US government is already operating on its third temporary funding extension since this fiscal year began last October.

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