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Senate leaders announce 2-year budget deal to avoid government shutdown

08 February 2018

Bloomberg reports that the increased spending would be partially offset by cuts to mandatory spending programs, according to the Republican summary.

"This bill represents a significant bipartisan step forward", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), unveiling the deal. If Senate leaders can't reach a deal by the deadline, McConnell could amend the House resolution with a fallback option to keep federal agencies open temporarily.

Democrats opposed a continuing resolution on January 19 because of the lack of a measure protecting "dreamers", individuals who were brought to the country illegally as children and have temporary protection. Trump announced he would end the program in September but gave Congress six months to pass a law to extend it.

The Senate is expected to vote on the new spending bill on Wednesday, when lawmakers are likely to change the bill and return it to the House for final passage. Ryan has said he will observe the so-called "Hastert Rule" of not calling any legislation that does not have the support of a majority of Republicans.

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"After months of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough", Schumer said on the Senate floor.

"While I obviously cannot guarantee any outcomes, let alone supermajority support, I can ensure the process is fair to all sides", he said on the Senate floor. "Why are we not given our constitutional opportunity to discuss this important issue?"

Fiscal conservatives like the Freedom Caucus, have also indicated they will vote against the deal due to the increase in new government spending.

Second-ranking Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas said the disaster relief package will be between $80 billion and $90 billion.

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Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., called the spending bill "a debt junkie's dream", adding, "I'm not only a no".

Currently, there is no long-term deal in sight with the deadline of February 8 looming near.

The question now is how many Democrats will follow her lead. Republicans say that defense should be prioritized after years of underfunding, while Democrats want an equivalent increase in domestic spending, pointing to past deals to lift the caps. The deal would also end - at least for a while - the prolonged congressional cycle of fiscal standoffs and short-term spending patches. Heritage Action said the deal "is fiscally irresponsible and creates serious long-term budget challenges".

Republican leadership in Congress spent the better part of the Obama years warning that mounting debt posed a dire threat to the nation's future.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday that President Donald Trump is happy with the direction of the budget deal.