House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that he had “confidence” the House would pass a bill to avoid a government shutdown.
His comment came as doubts emerged about the Senate’s ability to approve the short-term funding legislation his chamber hopes to pass Thursday. As several Senate Democrats and even some Republicans said they would oppose another stopgap spending plan, third-ranking GOP Sen. John Thune said he was “concerned” the bill would not have 60 votes to pass the Senate, according to Politico.
Ryan put the burden on Senate Democrats to back the proposal — which would extend government funding to Feb. 16 and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years — and avert a government shutdown. Republicans control the House, Senate and White House, and the House can pass a spending plan with only GOP votes.
The Senate will need support from nine Democrats, if all Republicans back the legislation.
“If the Senate Democrats want to shut the government down, if the Senate Democrats want to deny funding for our troops, if the Senate Democrats want to stop funding CHIP for unrelated issues — that’s a choice they would make, I don’t think it’s a good choice for them to make — but that would be their decision to make,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday.
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