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  • Waving off a push by Democrats to force action this week on a compromise over the future of illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” Republicans in Congress said they wanted to wait for further negotiations on DACA, as House GOP leaders unveiled a short term funding plan that would keep the federal government running into mid-February, but that plan faced immediate resistance from some more conservative Republicans. “There is no reason why Congress should hold government funding hostage over the issues of illegal immigration,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said a resolution on DACA could wait until February or March. But even without DACA in the mix, a new temporary funding plan unveiled by House Republican leaders last night got a tepid embrace from GOP lawmakers, frustrated by the lack of an overall budget agreement for 2018. THE CHORUS FROM H GOP on another CR: 'it's better than shutting down government' — Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) January 17, 2018 The biggest red flag came from more conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus, who argue the GOP should forge ahead with a plan to fully fund the military for 2018, while leaving all other government operations on a stop gap budget. After a meeting Tuesday night, Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) made it clear that the group was not ready to endorse the GOP funding plan, which would keep the government running through February 19. The goal is to use that extra time to reach a broader budget deal with Democrats, allowing the Congress to then approve a larger “Omnibus” funding plan for the 2018 budget year – which began back on October 1, 2017. Question now is will this resistance hold “Currently, just based on the number of “nos” and “undecideds” in the Freedom Caucus, there’s not enough support to pass it with GOP-only votes,” Meadows told reporters about short-term CR — Lauren Fox (@FoxReports) January 17, 2018 It was a replay of a familiar scenario on Capitol Hill, where House Republican infighting might lead to a shutdown at the end of the week. “It’s a possibility, yes,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), when asked about the chances of a shutdown. “But I don’t think it’s really going to happen,” Inhofe told reporters. “Nobody really wants it on either side.” The new GOP stopgap budget unveiled on Tuesday evening included a few sweeteners, as leaders added to the funding plan a provision that reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2023. “Without immediate action to fund CHIP, millions of low-income children will receive notices in the coming weeks that they might lose their health coverage,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Mike Burgess (R-TX) in a statement. While the CHIP extension had been expected, the GOP stopgap budget included something else that was a big surprise – as the bill would suspend three different taxes from the Obama health law. While Republicans try to find the votes to support that plan, a bipartisan group of Senators will unveil the final details of their DACA compromise on Wednesday, in hopes of stirring more support. “I don’t know how this movie ends,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who very publicly said he thought the President had signed on to the compromise DACA plan last Thursday, but then had his mind changed by immigration hard liners in the White House, and the Senate. One of those opponents is Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who bluntly told the DACA group of six Senators not to even try to push ahead with their plan. “Might as well roll it straight into the trash can,” Cotton said of the DACA deal, which he has labeled a mass amnesty. Meanwhile, Democrats were hoping for a budget impasse, as they argue that a resolution on DACA could still be added into the mix this week. The ball is in the Republican Party’s court. They control the White House, Senate & House. Will they shut down the government to deport hundreds of thousands of our brothers & sisters? A deal is on the table. https://t.co/K1UHB5vWDf — Guy Cecil (@guycecil) January 17, 2018 Many Republicans say they also want action on DACA, but they understand in the current environment – after the blow up over what the President said – or did not say – last week, that no agreement can happen right now. “Unfortunately, about every time we get close to putting our toes in the water, something happens,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). The tentative plan is for the House to try to vote on a stop gap budget on Thursday. The Senate could then pass the same measure before a Friday night shutdown deadline.
  • It’s a donation that translates to three million meals, and counting. Four-time PGA Tour winner Billy Horschel has announced a $500,000 grant to Feeding Northeast Florida, on behalf of THE PLAYERS. Horschel also committed to donating $1,000 for each birdie and $5,000 for each eagle he makes during THE PLAYERS 2018. Feeding Northeast Florida says the grant donation alone allows them to provide three million meals to those in need. “This generous $500,000 grant from THE PLAYERS will allow us to continue investing in organizations that help break the cycle of poverty, giving local children and families, seniors and veerans hope for a better future,” says a statement from Feeding Northeast Florida’s interim CEO Frank Castillo. The organization says they need around 50 million meals  annually to ensure access to food for those in need. They serve eight counties in Northeast Florida. THE PLAYERS 2018 will take place at TPC Sawgrass May 8-13.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars not only beat the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend to send themselves to the AFC Championship game, but they tacked on a few more turnovers during the victory. Now, a Jacksonville victory wants to give Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a literal taste of those turnovers. Cinotti’s Bakery posted on Facebook that they’re sending a thank you to Big Ben. “We appreciate the turnovers you gave us over our season so in return we wanted you to get a TASTE of 7 turnovers,” the post says. The bakery also posted a photo of the label which shows they sent apple, blueberry, and cherry turnovers to Roethlisberger at Heinz Field. Seven turnovers represents the two from the Jags this past weekend added to the five they racked up when they beat the Steelers earlier this season. Jags fans are not shy about voicing how they feel about the team.  Fans recently gained national headlines for sending trash cans to Jadeveon Clowney of the Houston Texans, because he called Jags QB Blake Bortles trash. With their win over the Steelers, the Jags now face the Patriots in the AFC Championship Sunday in Foxborough at 3:05PM.
  • Five days before the Jaguars play in the AFC Championship Game, running back Leonard Fournette has been involved in a crash.  It happened on the I-295 East Beltway approaching the Dames Point Bridge today.   Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dylan Bryan tells WOKV News that Fournette was not at-fault in the three-vehicle, chain reaction crash.  The driver who caused the collision will be cited for careless driving.   A spokesman for the Jaguars says Fournette’s car was rear-ended and he was not injured.  The Florida Highway Patrol thanked Fournette for thanking their trooper for his service and taking a photo with a boy who was involved in the crash.
  • He’s turning what he calls a “negative situation” in to a “blessing”. Jadeveon Clowney, of the Houston Texans, is bracing for a large shipment of trash cans and related items, sent to him at the Texans’ stadium. We first told you Thursday that Jags fans were rallying behind what they called #MerryTrashmas- sending Clowney trash cans because he called Jags Quarterback Blake Bortles trash, after Houston lost to Jacksonville this past weekend. Clowney has now taken to social media to thank Jaguars fans for sending the trash cans, saying he was inspired to fill them- and a truck- with toys to send to women and children at a Houston shelter. The Jags fan who started #MerryTrashmas, Bonnie Upright, told WOKV on Thursday that she hoped Clowney would see this as harmless fun and do something to benefit the community with the items. She tweeted her support of Clowney, after he posted his photo. The Texans have retweeted Clowney, and teammates like JJ Watt sent “positive vibes”. For their part, just before Clowney posted his photo, the Jags posted a “Keys to Trash Talk” segment which included highlights from the Houston game and Bortles’ response to Clowney’s original comment.

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