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Arizona Rep. David Schweikert hopeful government can avoid shutdown

LISTEN: David Schweikert, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — Congress just got back to work Monday and U.S. Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona, for one, is keeping positive thoughts that it’s not a short return, with a federal government shutdown deadline looming.

“There’s no great angst. … I’m not much of a betting person, but I just don’t see that happening,” Schweikert told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Monday.

There was plenty of angst when the government shut down for two weeks in October 2013.

This time, funding for the government ends Saturday at 12:01 a.m. The congressional spending plan would have to have 60 votes to get past the 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold 52 seats.

“… We have to have at least eight Democrats over in the Senate who play nice on this,” Schweikert, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, said.

President Donald Trump, whose 100th day in office falls on Saturday, wants funding for the border wall between the United States and Mexico that he promised during this campaign.

He also is pushing for another run at repealing the Affordable Care Act put in place under President Barack Obama.

“Some members that say, ‘Look, we want to step up the funding for some of of the security for border.’ Others are saying, ‘OK, but only if certain inusrance money subsidies for the small individual market are available,” Schweikert said.

“If that’s as far apart as we are, we should be able to get something put together. Worst-case scenario you do an extension for a week and finish the details.”

There are other details for lawmakers to take care of this week.

“This week has so much going on,” Schweikert said.

“…We’re going to start hearings on the big tax reform proposals. There are some ideas floating around the House right now that they think will finish off the final vote to be able to get the health care reform moving again.

“It’s going to be a wild week.”