(27 Apr 2017) Congressional Democrats and Republicans are involved in tense negotiations on a spending bill to keep the government open, differing over demands to provide Americans with health care.
A temporary funding bill expires Friday at midnight, and GOP leaders late Wednesday came out with a short-term spending bill through May 5 to prevent a government shutdown this weekend.
The House and Senate were widely expected to pass the measure on strong bipartisan votes to give negotiators more time to work out their differences and avoid an ignominious shutdown on Trump's 100th day in office Saturday.
The changes in the bill would let states escape requirements under Obama's health law that insurers charge healthy and seriously ill people the same rates, and cover a list of specified services like maternity care.
Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters that Republicans who back the health bill will regret it, calling it a "lose-lose-lose" situation. Polls show majority opposition to the GOP alternative to the 2010 law.
The White House has been exerting intense pressure on House GOP leaders to deliver any tangible legislative accomplishments ahead of Trump's 100-day mark Saturday, something that has yet to occur aside from Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
The spending measure, which would wrap together 11 unfinished spending bills into a single bill, represents the first real bipartisan legislation of Trump's presidency.
Speaker Paul Ryan says the House will vote on a revised health care plan "when we're ready to go," despite White House pressure for a quick vote as President Donald Trump approaches his 100th day in office.
Ryan told reporters Thursday that leaders have not made any decision on when a vote will take place. He spoke one day after the conservative House Freedom Caucus announced it supports a compromise that would let states choose not to provide essential benefits under the current law, such as coverage for pregnancy, childbirth and newborn care and prescription drugs.
Republicans were forced last month to scrap their bill repealing the Obama health care law because of opposition within the party. Ryan says moderate Republicans balking at the newest version of the plan should back the bill.

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