Leadership urges House Democrats to vote against budget deal as shutdown looms

WASHINGTON — With a potential shutdown looming, a bipartisan budget deal that is expected to pass the Senate on Thursday faces a decidedly uncertain future in the House of Representatives. With the conservative House Freedom Caucus opposed to the agreement, it is unlikely to pass without Democratic support. However, Yahoo News obtained an email Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s office sent to Democratic House members urging them to vote against the deal.“DEMOCRATS ARE URGED TO VOTE NO ON THE BUDGET DEAL,” the message said.That instruction was prefaced with a request for members to tell House Democratic leadership how they’ll vote on the agreement — a sign that party leaders are trying to figure out where their members stand. Indeed, multiple top Democratic House staffers told Yahoo News that there is uncertainty among members about how many will follow leadership and vote against the agreement.The government is set to shut down at midnight unless a budget deal is done. The Senate agreement would avert a shutdown, raise the debt ceiling and keep the government funded for two years. It earned bipartisan support in the Senate because it contains increased spending for both defense and domestic programs. Pentagon budget increases have been a long-term goal of Republicans, and Democrats demanded they be coupled with funding for other programs.Opposition to the agreement from Democrats stems from the fact that it does not address the expiring DACA program that shields from deportation some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. Democrats initially vowed not to back any budget deal that did not reinstate DACA in some form. Former President Barack Obama established the program through executive action in 2012, but President Donald Trump rescinded it last year, calling for congressional legislation to address the issue.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, walk to the chamber after collaborating on an agreement in the Senate on a two-year, almost $400 billion budget deal. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)Last month’s brief government shutdown ended after Senate Democrats backed off that demand and supported the short-term measure that is keeping the government open through Thursday evening. That short-term deal did not need the support of House Democrats to pass, and members of the party’s liberal wing are concerned they would be unable to obtain a DACA fix from Republicans without the leverage of a looming shutdown.Senate Democrats got onboard with the short-term deal after Minority Leader Chuck Schumer extracted a promise from Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he would allow a vote on an immigration deal sometime soon. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said she wants a similar pledge from House Speaker Paul Ryan.Pelosi spent The neo-Nazi has no clothes: In search of Matt Heimbach’s bogus ‘white ethnostate’Trump touted conspiratorial ambassador’s ‘marketing’ skillsIn wake of church shootings, pastors and worshipers arm themselves to shoot backPhotos: Syrian government airstrikes kill dozens in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region