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Senate Spending Bills In Peril As Last-Minute Objections Arise

09 February 2018

Democrats on the left, especially members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were frustrated to see a budget deal negotiated that resolved virtually every Democratic priority except a resolution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a policy that protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the USA as children that President Donald Trump made a decision to terminate in September.

In the short term, reducing the risk of government shutdowns could help Trump and Republicans by conveying a greater sense of stability. "Now we have Republicans hand-in-hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits".

That agreement includes a significant increase to both military and non-military spending limits for this year and 2019, totalling almost $300 billion, and raises the debt ceiling until March 1 next year.

Paul took to the Senate floor several times Thursday and refused to agree to move up the time for a vote on the bill, which required unanimous consent from all senators.

The unexpected turn of events dragged the Senate proceedings into the wee hours and underscored the persistent inability of Congress and Trump to deal efficiently with Washington's most basic fiscal obligations of keeping the government open.

"This agreement ensures that our armed forces will finally have the resources they need", Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas said.

Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in an interview on All Things Considered Thursday that he also wouldn't vote for the current budget agreement because it doesn't reflect his party's values.

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The Kentucky Republican took the floor to blast the increase in federal spending limits, and in particular the fiscal irresponsibility of his own party.

The measures will not provide a fix for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S.as children.

The agreement circumvents the strict budget caps imposed under a 2011 budget deal, and adds $57 billion in new spending equally to both defense and nondefense accounts through fiscal 2019, according to those familiar with the talks.

Congress has until midnight to pass a spending plan to avoid a government shutdown.

What's the White House saying?

A budget impasse resulted in a three-day government shutdown last month. But many Democrats backed the measure without that assurance.

Many Republicans, whose party controls both chambers of Congress, said the military's need for funding justified the extra spending.

"Don't collude with this administration", he said. "Vote against this budget".

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Trump has offered to give the Dreamers protection from deportation and a pathway to citizenship over 10 to 12 years, but he wants in exchange $25 billion to fund his proposed US-Mexico border wall and tighter restrictions on legal immigration.

Senate Democrats had no appetite for another shutdown.

Bipartisan negotiations have yet to reach a deal on an overhaul of America's immigration.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (L) and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell struck a bipartisan budget deal on Wednesday, but it was unclear if it would hold.

"They (Republicans) claim they care about fiscal responsibility, but when they pass their tax cut without any offsets they prove the opposite", Democratic Representative Jim McGovern told Reuters.

"Now it's time for the House to do its job", Ryan said.

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Senate Spending Bills In Peril As Last-Minute Objections Arise