House Republicans plan to push ahead Thursday with a bill that would fund the government and briefly extend a counter-terrorism surveillance tool until January 19, but it's not clear whether the votes are there for the bill in the House and Senate.
The House Rules Committee was preparing the legislation this morning, but the exact time for the House vote had not been set.
Republican leaders last night were optimistic they could round up the votes to pass the measure with little or no support from Democrats, but the bill abandons a plan to fully fund the military for fiscal 2018, which could lead to GOP opposition.
Lawmakers plan to hold a separate vote on an $81 billion disaster relief package to help recover from recent hurricanes and wildfires.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged Democrats to vote against the spending package on Wednesday. She will ask Republican leaders in the House Rules Committee Thursday morning to attach a provision to the bill that would legalize so-called Dreamers, but the GOP is all but certain to reject her request because they plan to consider an immigration reform package in January.
If Republicans are able to pass the spending and disaster aid legislation, they will send the two bills to the Senate, where support from Democrats is needed to avert a filibuster.
At least one Republican, Sen. Mike Rounds, of South Dakota, said he will not vote for another short-term spending package.
The House bill includes a patch to continue funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program through March and some additional funding for defense spending.
The bill also includes a waiver to prevent more than $100 billion in mandatory spending cuts from going into effect next year. This includes a possible $25 billion cut to Medicare.
The tax reform bill approved Wednesday triggered the 2010 Statutory Pay-As-You-Go law that makes mandatory spending cuts if the deficit reaches a certain threshold. The tax bill is expected to raise the deficit by more than $1 trillion.
Congress has triggered the law before, but has always gotten a waiver. There have been 16 “paygo” waivers since its passage in 2010.
Current federal funding expires after Friday, and the government would partially shut down after that unless Congress acts to extend funding.