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USA budget agreement reached

09 February 2018

Aside from the two-year deal that would have to be approved by the full Senate and House, lawmakers were also trying to reach agreement by Thursday to avoid a shutdown and fund the government until March 23.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 lifts defense sequestration caps the Obama administration placed on the Pentagon.

Other federal health programs, including teaching health centers and the National Health Service Corps., would receive $363 million and $495 million in funding appropriations from the budget deal, respectively.

The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, where Democrats are hoping to amend it with the McConnell-Schumer deal and send it back to the House.

It's the same debate that's been raging since the fiscal year began on October 1 - and the reason Congress has continued to pass continuing resolutions instead of appropriating money for the entire year.

Chairman of the Freedom Caucus, Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), joined Brian Kilmeade to discuss the latest on a potential government shutdown. She wants that before voting on a government funding deal.

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If there are no offsets as part of the deal, the increase in spending would result in could add roughly the same amount per year to the federal deficit as the recently passed Republican tax law, for which many GOP members voted.

The plan to keep the government operating and to increase spending over the next two years faced resistance from conservatives in the Republican Party, who favor less spending on domestic government programs.

The BBC says that many Democrats are unhappy with the bill, as it fails to address the issue of immigration.

Unlike the House - which needs only a simple majority to approve legislation - the Senate requires 60 votes, meaning help is needed from Democrats because the Republicans only have a 51-49 edge in the upper chamber.

Meanwhile in the House of Representatives, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has been holding a marathon speech on Wednesday, demanding legal status for immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children. Instead, they have pledged to hold a separate immigration debates in Senate this month.

In addition, it would set aside $6 billion for funding opioid and mental health programs, including prevention and treatment initiatives.

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House leadership could have some trouble getting such a large budget deal through.

It's crunch time for lawmakers to keep the USA government open, with funding running out at midnight Washington time unless Congress extends federal spending authority for the fifth time in the last six months.

The package includes additional funding for disaster relief.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said, "We have reached a budget deal that neither side loves, but both sides can be proud of".

Although Schumer and the White House are optimistic toward bipartisanship, many Republican and Democratic lawmakers warn about the precedent the budget sets. "We are certainly happy with the direction that it's moving, particularly that we're moving away from the crisis budgeting that we have been on in the past", she said.

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USA budget agreement reached