Now that the tax bill has passed, leaders from both parties will need to turn their attention to a spending deal to avoid a partial government shutdown.  Current funding runs out at the end of the day Friday, December 22.

House Republican leaders filed a spending bill last week that would temporarily extend funding for most government agencies at current levels until January 19, while providing longer-term military funding at higher levels–$460 billion through September 30.

The House bill is considered to be dead on arrival in the Senate, as Democrats can block it because of the chamber’s 60-vote filibuster threshold.  To cut a long-term spending bill,  Democrats are pushing for an equivalent increase in defense and nondefense funding above the spending caps set under a 2011 agreement, similar to deals reached in 2013 and 2015 to raise the caps for the following two years. Bipartisan negotiations, over the last several weeks, have yet to produce an agreement.

Hard-line conservatives in the House want GOP leaders to stand firm against Democrats’ insistence on raising nondefense spending, saying the Republicans need not agree to those demands when the GOP holds both the White House and both chambers of Congress.

Complicating the spending bill is the issue of legal status to “dreamers,” who are immigrants brought into  the United States as children without documentation.  Democrats and some Republicans support the concept of legal status for the dreamers.

Even if a bipartisan agreement is reached, the timeline is tight.  The House still needs to vote on its spending bill.  Depending on when that is done, it will leave little time for the Senate to take up the bill, and then send it back to the House.  At this point, it appears unclear if either side has interest in another short-term deal.

The showdown could push an extension past the Friday deadline.  If that happens, many federal agencies dealing with the public would close their doors, including national parks and federal buildings.  However government personnel deemed “essential” to national security and public safety would continue to work