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Congress Working To Avoid Government Shutdown

09 February 2018

Senate Democrats were expected to baulk at the Bill's inclusion of an increase in Pentagon funding but exclusion of any increase in non-defence spending.

The Congressional Budget Office said recently that the Treasury Department would most likely run out of cash to pay the country's bills in the first half of March. "I think it's time Mitch McConnell goes to 51 votes in the Senate, the heck with allowing Chuck Schumer and a few of his colleagues to set the agenda for the rest of the Trump agenda, it's just not appropriate". The aide requested anonymity because leadership deliberations are secret.

While the government shutdown could still take place, the Senate agreement is a positive step forward for both parties who have seen their popularity drop in recent polls due to the current dysfunction.

Republicans are eager to keep spending and immigration separate.

Fiscal conservatives like the Freedom Caucus, have also indicated they will vote against the deal due to the increase in new government spending. Then senators take up the House-passed budget continuing resolution.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday he was encouraged by the deal.

The White House's Office of Management and Budget "is now preparing for a lapse in appropriations", an OMB official said on condition of anonymity, calling on lawmakers to get the measure to President Donald Trump's desk "without delay". "Now we have Republicans hand in hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits".

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"Why can't we let people that are doctors and lawyers and people that are nurses and people that are in the armed forces stay?"

Lawmakers face an imminent deadline.

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

Schumer called the budget "An historic, bipartisan budget deal" that will increase federal investments in NY. Lawmakers need to work out a spending measure before Thursday to avoid a government shutdown. But Rep. Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, the Democratic whip, urged his members to line up in opposition to the deal.

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Smartly tuning out President Trump, who thought a government shutdown over immigration would be kinda fun, Senate Republicans and Democrats struck a sensible agreement Wednesday on a two-year federal spending plan that leaves the contentious policy to the side.

Republicans tried to win Democratic votes on the stopgap measure Tuesday by attaching a two-year extension of funding for community health clinics and other provisions, along with the full year of military funding.

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The deal does check off a number of Democrats' other priorities.

House Republicans were meeting Wednesday afternoon as the Senate leaders announced the deal.

"They're cutting a deal, they're having discussions with Democrats to support the budget effort, so they know that they're going to lose 60 to 70 Republican votes", Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told USA TODAY Thursday.

The bipartisan compromise would provide the Pentagon and domestic programs with an extra $300 billion over the next two years.

The bill needs the support of House Democrats because fiscally conservative Republicans are expected to oppose it over the increase in domestic spending.

Some House Democrats, bolstered by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's record-length speech yesterday, are claiming they won't support the budget plan without the promise of a debate on immigration reform centered around the renewal of DACA protections.

But the deal's fate in the House is far from certain. Senate leaders hope to approve the measure Thursday and send it to the House for approval. But hurdles remain to avert the second shutdown in a month.

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Congress Working To Avoid Government Shutdown