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Budget deal faces stiff opposition

10 February 2018

The deal ends sequestration caps on the Pentagon without acceding to Democratic demands for equals boosts to domestic spending, but it still raises spending by almost $300 billion over the next two fiscal years.

Trump has said he is open to a deal for the Dreamers but only if he is able to build a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border - a main promise of his presidential campaign - and tighten up immigration policy.

"But the accord was not without dramatics, and its passage in the House is not a foregone conclusion".

In the Senate, one Republican lawmaker - Rand Paul of Kentucky - delayed the final vote until after a midnight deadline when funding for the government ran out and a partial shutdown took effect.

With federal funding set to expire at midnight Thursday, if lawmakers do not extend spending authority then the US government will suffer its second partial shutdown in as many months. The two leaders announced they had reached agreement on a 2-year budget deal that will raise strict caps on military and domestic spending.

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As a result, we've repeatedly witnessed Republican hawks make deals with Democrats that amount to mutual back scratching: You can spend more at home if we can spend more overseas.

"I'm confident there's not going to be a government shutdown, and there shouldn't be", Collins said.

Paul certainly caused discomfort. Fifteen other Republicans joined Paul in voting against the bill, with many expressing similar objections about the increased deficit spending. In a generic ballot test for Congress - which asks respondents simply if they will vote for a Democrat or Republican but doesn't include candidate name - Democrats only hold a 6-point advantage, down from 12 points in December.

The open question is whether that data represents the beginning of a correction for Democrats after months of nothing but positive data, or a relatively insignificant blip on the party's way to winning the 24 seats they need to flip the House.

The money momentum has also helped fuel Democrats who are seeking re-election in potentially tough districts. Liberals, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were outraged that the proposal did not include any protection for "dreamers", undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children who face potential deportation on 5 March.

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The immigration debate drove the shutdown last month, as Democrats pushed McConnell to agree to prioritize the issue, but it had not been part of more recent budget negotiations, despite Trump's nudging. She led Democrats in reiterating that demand in a letter to Ryan sent just after the shutdown began at midnight.

"I love bipartisanship, as you know", said Sen.

The party's leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said on Thursday morning she was opposed to the plan, but would not order rank-and-file Democrats to vote against it.

Making an appearance in the White House briefing room, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said he felt happy that Congress recognises the "sobering effect" of budgetary uncertainty on America's military and on the men and women who provide for the nation's defence. "The bottom line is that thanks to President Trump we can now have the strongest military we have ever had". "Her team was in on it", said top GOP vote counter Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.

The deal comes less than two days before the deadline to pass a continuing budget resolution. The addition of the debt-limit suspension, which many Freedom Caucus members oppose as a matter of principle, made some conservative opposition even more likely.

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Senate leaders had celebrated the budget deal as a sign they had left behind some of their chronic dysfunction. Reps. Tom Suozzi in New York's 3rd District and Salud Carbajal in California's 24th District are also running about $1 million ahead of their challengers.

Budget deal faces stiff opposition