Disputes over abortion, financial rules slow spending bill

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

Political fights over abortion, financial regulations and Puerto Rico have slowed Republican and Democratic negotiators working on a sweeping, government-wide spending bill. President Donald Trump's tweetstorm lashing out at Democrats didn't help.

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Congress faces a midnight Friday deadline to avert a government shutdown on Trump's 100th day in office. The measure won't be ready by then, so both the House and Senate plan to pass a short-term spending bill to extend the deadline by another week.

Hang-ups still remain, according to negotiators on both sides.

A look at some of the issues:

TRUMP

The president unleashed a tweetstorm on Thursday morning. "I promise to rebuild our military and secure our border. Democrats want to shut down the government. Politics!" he tweeted. The accusations came after two major White House concessions: The administration backed off a threat to withhold payments that help lower-income Americans pay their medical bills and Trump dropped a demand for money for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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The negotiations had been progressing, and Republicans and Democrats continued talks despite the tweets.

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ABORTION

Democrats say conservative Republicans want to include language to block Affordable Care Act health insurance plans from offering abortion coverage and permit employers to deny any services, such as contraception, that they have a religious or moral objection to.

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PUERTO RICO

Democrats, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, want $500 million to help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico with its Medicaid bills. Republicans have offered significantly less.

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FINANCIAL REGULATIONS

Republicans are pressing to block new rules such as a bitterly fought one imposed by former President Barack Obama that requires retirement planners to act in the best interests of their clients by revealing more about their commissions and fees. Democrats also oppose GOP efforts to undercut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was established under Obama's Wall Street overhaul measure.

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ADDITIONAL MONEY

Democrats are pushing for additional money for several programs, including disaster aid.

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ENVIRONMENT

Republicans are trying to use the spending measure to undercut environmental regulations imposed by Obama, including a rule that expands clean water protections. Republicans complain that it is too burdensome on farmers, ranchers and other.