Congress focuses on budget to avoid shutdown

Republicans are looking to keep momentum going from Wednesday's big tax win, as they now pivot to major issues with approaching deadlines for funding the government and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Posted: Dec. 21, 2017 9:51 AM

(NBC News) Now that tax reform is finished, Congress is focusing on preventing a government shutdown.

Congress has less than 48 hours to come up with a budget. Democrats say since Republicans are in charge, they have to fix it. "They have the votes and they have the signature. So they have the power," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

At risk: children's health insurance. "The parents of the 9 million children enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program are counting on us," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Also up in the air: disaster relief, domestic surveillance, low-income health subsidies and protection for young immigrants.

Lawmakers are considering a short-term budget that keeps the lights on and puts off all those decisions until mid-January. The Senate can't pass a budget without a few Democrats on board.

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