As another US government shutdown looms, Republicans, Democrats haggle over spending

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, USA Published: Mar 21, 2018, 05:20 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

US lawmakers are working overtime against a Friday midnight deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

The shutdown, if it happens again, could be the third time this year.

Republicans and Democrats are working to set a $1.2 trillion spending deal together. House Speaker Paul Ryan said that "some unresolved issues" remained, but he was hoping it would be finalized and released.

"A few sticking points remain, but we are very close" to a deal, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said.

"We're at the end of negotiations, I don't want to jeopardize anything," he added.

The measures include outlines of a 2018-2019 budget deal reached last month that boosts both military and domestic spending by more than 10 per cent.

The plan provides $307 million more than Trump requested for the FBI to counter Russian cyber attacks and $380 million for US states to improve voting technology before November's congressional election, according to a Reuters source.

There are several sticking points as Republicans and Democrats haggle over issues which include the Mexican Wall, Obamacare and fixing the tax law.

According to Reuters, President Trump wants $25 billion for the Mexican wall, but negotiations fell through to provide more money in exchange for protections for "Dreamers," young adults brought illegally into the United States as children.

As the clock ticks, both Republicans and Democrats are working behind the scenes, spending time making phone calls in an attempt to keep the US government running.

Read in App