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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The clock is ticking for Congress to pass a new spending bill.

The government has until midnight Friday to avoid a government shutdown, but President Trump on Thursday added to the uncertainty that lawmakers can reach a deal in time.

“It could happen we’ll see what happens, it’s up to the Democrats,” Trump said.

The president told reporters outside the pentagon that a government shutdown could happen.

“If for any reason it shuts down, the worst thing is what happens to our military,” he said.

Republican House leaders wanted to vote on a short-term spending deal on Thursday that would keep the government open until February 16th. The deal included a six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Support for the plan was already wavering when President Donald Trump sent out a tweet on CHIP.

“I don’t know whether it’s clear to the president that what we’re trying to do is reauthorize CHIP for the long term, not 30 days,” said Sen. John Cornyn, D-TX.

Democrats are insisting on a deal that would fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to live and work here.

Trump has rejected two previous bipartisan deals struck in the House and Senate.

“What they want in return is continuously a moving target and it continuously expands,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ.

The president has insisted that his conditions have not changed. He said he will agree to a DACA deal in exchange for money to build a wall along the border with Mexico. The president is demanding $18 billion for the project.

Senate republicans are considering a fallback option that would keep the government open for an even shorter period while they work on a breakthrough.

In the event of a shutdown, essential services would continue as would Social Security and other federal benefit programs but National Parks and museums would close.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues to make legal immigration more difficult.

On Thursday, the administration announced they would no longer allow people from Haiti, Belize and Samoa to come to the U.S. on agricultural work visas.

Haiti is one of the countries Trump reportedly referred to as a “s***hole” and asked why the U.S. would want more people from there. Haiti denounced the president’s alleged comment and called in the top US diplomat in Haiti to try to explain their meaning.

 

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