Government shutdown, health bill at stake in Congress

Trump said on Twitter: "The Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others)!" "Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues".

And now Trump's signature promise to build "a big, handsome wall" on the Mexican border is in trouble, too.

On Tuesday, however, Trump tweeted that he has not changed his position on getting the wall built. After signaling last week that they hoped for a vote as soon as this week on a rewritten health bill, White House officials softened their stance Monday.

Trump has promised to build the wall since the first day of his presidential campaign. They control both chambers of Congress and the White House - and everyone knows it.

"It's really good news that the president seems to be taking the wall off the table", Schumer said on the Senate floor on Tuesday. Democratic leaders had said it would not get it if funds for the wall were included. Fox host Ainsley Earhardt mentioned that the White House may not get the funding this week, given Trump's reported comments Monday night.

Science Applications International Corporation, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contractor, has spent $380,000 on lobbying this year, listing "cybersecurity and the SW border wall" as a key issue in its lobbying files.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have said that they want to avoid a government shutdown and pass a "clean" budget bill without special funding for the border wall.

Basic income pilot project to launch in Hamilton, Lindsay And Thunder Bay
Residents living in Lindsay, Thunder Bay and Hamilton will be the first in the province to receive a guaranteed minimum income. By late spring, people in Hamilton and Thunder Bay will begin receiving information about the pilot and how to participate.

Unless the Democrats sign off on the spending measure, the Republicans would lack the necessary majorities in the House and Senate to push it through before the deadline.

Separately, the White House and congressional Republicans are gauging whether a plan to revise the GOP's stalled health care bill would garner enough converts to rekindle hopes for House passage of the legislation.

The original GOP bill eliminated numerous mandates, offered skimpier subsidies for consumers to buy care and rolled back a Medicaid expansion. The subsidies are embroiled in a lawsuit brought by House Republicans, and supporters of the health law warn that its marketplaces could collapse if they are taken away.

The proposed changes would retain several requirements imposed by Obama's 2010 statute, including obliging insurers to cover seriously ill customers.

But states could obtain federal waivers to some of those requirements. Those include mandates that insurers charge healthy and seriously ill customers the same premiums and cover specified services like hospitalization and emergency room visits.

In return, the Democrats will likely support some additional funding for border security, provided it is not used to help build the wall. But in 2013, conservative Republicans forced a 17-day shutdown in a failed attempt to repeal then-President Barack Obama's healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act.

Those two groups plan to meet separately this week to consider the proposal.

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