Senate Leadership Close to Long-Term Budget Deal

Senate Leadership Close to Long-Term Budget Deal

Senate Leadership Close to Long-Term Budget Deal

"After months of fiscal brinkmanship, this budget deal is the first real sprout of bipartisanship and it should break the long cycle of spending crises that have snarled this Congress and hampered our middle class".

It would increase domestic spending by $131 billion and defense spending by $165 billion over the next two years, provide almost $90 billion in disaster aid and extend the debt limit for one year - until well after the midterm elections. House GOP appropriators unveiled the short-term spending bill, known as continuing resolution (CR), that would also fund the military at increased levels through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends September 30. Congress has until Thursday to pass a deal to fund the government or face another government shutdown.

So the government would shut down then if Congress can't reach a deal.

The Senate deal includes several Democratic demands but excludes immigration policy changes, particularly the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which is something House Democrats may not be willing to forfeit.

Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

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"Sometimes I think the speaker thinks he's speaker of the White House not the speaker of the House of Representatives", she sniped. It is expected to end up as a place-holder for the broader legislation McConnell and Schumer said they are negotiating, forcing the House to conduct a vote on the Senate measure in the next two days to avoid a shutdown.

An extension for current funding through March 23 will be also approved in the Senate, as was done on Tuesday in the House, while lawmakers still will have to work out the long-term details.

The massive budget deal, which includes a stopgap temporary measure to prevent a government shutdown, includes $300 billion for the military.

The bill passed in a 240-186 vote in the House early morning despite opposition from most Democrats, who had sought a firmer commitment from Speaker Paul Ryan that he will bring immigration legislation to the floor for a vote that would protect immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation.

A band of tea party Republicans swung against the piece of legislation as well, repelled by its spiraling spending levels.

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Democrats do not hold a majority in the Senate, but they have power in this instance because the spending bill needed to fund the federal government requires 60 votes to pass the Senate, leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nine votes short.

The bill now moves to the House.

"No one would suggest it is ideal, but we worked hard to find common ground and remained focused on serving the American people", said McConnell.

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