Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's budget director, is pushing to restrict funding for cities that don't comply with federal immigrations policies, which could spell trouble for lawmakers trying to avoid a government shutdown, Politico is reporting.
As Congress is faced with a must-pass spending bill, Mulvaney is urging congressional Republicans to restrict funding to crackdown on sanctuary cities. The move is designed, in part, to appease the House Freedom Caucus and demonstrate the administration's commitment to conservatives, Politico said.
Trump had vowed during his presidential campaign to "cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities," the Los Angeles Times reported. He has used the threat to try to force local governments to comply his White House efforts to deport those illegally in the U.S., according to the newspaper.
And it is unlikely that Democrats, who already oppose funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, would welcome an attempt to block sanctuary cities from receiving federal funds, Politico said, noting the budget bill will need at least eight Democratic votes in the Senate to pass.
When Congress returns from its two-week recess, it will have just five days to avoid a shutdown before funding runs out on April 28.
"Most things in the Senate do require 60 votes," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. "Democrats are not irrelevant. The first big test of that will be the funding bill when we get back."
And Senate Minority Leader Shuck Schumer, D-N.Y., added: We hope our Republican colleagues won't insist on things that will cause a government shutdown, but talks are going pretty well right now."
Democrats are also voicing opposition to the proposal on sanctuary cities in the House.
"Of course, that's a nonstarter," Matt Dennis, a spokesman for House Appropriations Committee ranking member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), said of the sanctuary cities idea.
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