Senate leaders put forward budget agreement day before shutdown deadline

10 February, 2018, 09:50 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • House Passes Short Term Spending Bill Funding Government Through March 23					by Sean Moran6 Feb 20180		6 Feb 2018		6 Feb 2018

Spending for non-defense programs would increase $63 billion this year and $68 billion next year.

Along with tax cuts backed by Trump and pushed through Congress by Republicans, the spending deal would add to the fiscal deficit, which hit $666-billion in the 2017 fiscal year. It would also extend the debt ceiling and authorize about $70 billion in aid for last year's string of natural disasters.

Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

"I don't understand why the senator from Kentucky wants to insist on shutting down the federal government", Cornyn said. "I'm optimistic that very soon we'll be able to reach an agreement", McConnell said.

But Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer called the bill "the best thing we've done" for the middle class and the economy. The House on Tuesday passed legislation to keep the government running through March 23, marrying the stopgap spending measure with a $659 billion Pentagon spending plan, but the Senate plan would rewrite that measure.

"I have been relentlessly pressuring Congressional leadership to make sure that West Virginia gets the funding it needs to end the opioid epidemic and invest in high-speed internet and broadband access throughout our state, and I'm glad this funding will be included in the final budget deal", he said.

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The bipartisan agreement will reportedly create more funding for veterans, disaster relief, infrastructure, and be used to combat the opioid crisis through prevention programs and providing more law enforcement to communities struggling with drug addiction.

"It was pretty much a smorgasbord of spending and policy that got added to this, and so, you know, normally people who eat at smorgasbords all the time are not the healthiest", Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said Thursday. Schumer relented on that point after McConnell agreed to an open debate on immigration bill starting next week. "And Republicans say 'never.' They say 'never'". That puts pressure on Republicans, who could still pass a bill in the House even if almost all Democrats voted against it.

Despite President Donald Trump's threats of a government shutdown over immigration, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders praised the deal as moving Congress away from "crisis-to-crisis budgeting", while accomplishing the Trump administration's "top priority" of a defense increase.

However, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said she would oppose the deal unless Ryan agrees to a commitment to consider legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants.

McConnell, Ryan and President Trump have all said they want to find a permanent fix for the roughly 700,000 people enrolled in the DACA program which is set to expire March 5 under terms set by Trump a year ago.

The White House plan-which would put 1.8 million immigrants on a path to citizenship, boost border security, and dramatically curtail legal immigration-has been panned by Democrats.


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