Updated on January 18 at 10:29 a.m. ET
If ever there was a moment when House Republicans could use some much-needed party unity, this is it.
The federal government is on the brink of shutting down Friday at midnight, and the GOP wants, first, to keep it open, and second, to blame Democrats if it can’t. But both of those goals depend on Speaker Paul Ryan wrangling 216 of his 238 members to vote for a temporary spending bill that one top conservative likened to “a crap sandwich with moldy bread.”
GOP leaders unveiled their latest stopgap proposal on Tuesday night and are eyeing a vote on Thursday. It would keep the government running for about another month, and includes sweeteners for each party. To entice Democrats angry over the lack of a deal on immigration, the bill would enact a long-awaited six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. To win over conservatives, Republicans have attached—what else?—tax cuts: The continuing resolution would delay the enactment of several taxes included in the Affordable Care Act, such as those on medical devices, high-end insurance plans, and health insurers.
Whether they can muster the votes from either side is unclear. Democratic leaders aren’t biting at the inclusion of the long-term CHIP extension—which they’ve demanded for months—and are urging their members to oppose any spending bill that doesn’t offer protections for the 700,000 young immigrants at risk for deportation once President Trump ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in early March. “If they want Democratic votes for a spending bill, it will be reflective of Democratic values,” said Representative Joseph Crowley of New York, the party’s House-caucus chairman.