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Gov’t shutdown looms, DACA playing a big part

The US government is once again facing the possibility of a government shutdown.

According to the AP, congressional leaders and the White House are pressing to strike an accord on a $1.3 trillion catchall spending bill, though disputes remain over DACA, abortion and a massive rail project that pits President Donald Trump against his most powerful Democratic adversary.

An agreement by Monday would pave the way for a House vote on Wednesday. Action is needed by midnight Friday to avert another government shutdown.

The bipartisan measure is loaded with political and policy victories for both sides. Republicans and Trump are winning a long-sought budget increase for the Pentagon while Democrats obtain funding for infrastructure, the opioid crisis and a wide swath of domestic programs.

While most of the funding issues in the enormous measure have been sorted out, fights involving a number of policy “riders” — so named because they catch a ride on a difficult-to-stop spending bill — continued into the weekend.

Among them are GOP-led efforts to add a plan to revive federal subsidies to help the poor cover out-of-pocket costs under President Barack Obama’s health law and to fix a glitch in the recent tax bill that subsidizes grain sales to cooperatives at the expense of for-profit grain companies.

A White House trial balloon to use the measure as a vehicle to extend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, or DACA, protections for immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children remained tenuously afloat, aides said. Trump killed the Obama-era program in September, but a court decision has essentially left it in place, for now.

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