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US Senate reaches two-year budget deal to avert govt shutdown

10 February 2018

The House Tuesday passed legislation to keep the government running through March 23, marrying the stopgap spending measure with a $659 billion Pentagon spending plan, but the Senate plan would rewrite that measure.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said it was pleasing that Congress has been able to meet the Trump administration's defence spending requirement and come together on a two-year spending bill.

The agreement, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced on the chamber floor, would raise defense spending by $80 billion in the current fiscal year and more next year, and nondefense spending by $63 billion in fiscal 2018 and $68 billion in fiscal 2019.

Paul objected to the fact that deal would result in a significant increase in the federal budget deficit without any corresponding cuts to spending.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ignored bipartisan pleas by Senate leaders to not delay a Thursday vote on a massive government spending bill, with a deadline to keep the government open coming at midnight.

The cromnibus idea has been pushed for months not just by the Freedom Caucus but by the Republican Study Committee, the larger conservative caucus, and defense hawks on the Armed Services Committee.

"We will effectively shut down the federal government for no good reason", said Sen.

"I am very pleased to announce that we have reached a two-year budget deal to lift the spending caps for defence and urgent domestic priorities far above current spending levels", Schumer said.

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"According to Politico, Pelosi said she will not be voting for the bill: "'I'm pleased with the product, I'm not pleased with the process, ' Pelosi told reporters Thursday, later adding she plans to vote against the bill but confirmed she isn't formally whipping against it.

"We're on track", one source told CNN.

"Debt and deficits are no excuse to leave the war fighter hanging", Graham said.

"I believe what we did with tax reform is going to grow our economy", Republican Sen. Susan Collins was optimistic about the preparedness of the bipartisan group she was been leading for the all-Senate debate.

Congress has until February 8 to pass a spending bill, and the deal would fund the government through March 23.

Both Democrats and conservatives in the House expressed reservations, with Democrats arguing they didn't want to support the bill without assurances the House would work on a permanent legislative solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program - the Obama-era initiative that shielded from deportation foreign nationals who illegally entered the country as minors.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) also didn't hold back his criticism of Paul's tactics.

That step alone would help reduce uncertainty in USA financial markets at a turbulent time.

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McConnell has committed to a freewheeling debate on immigration if the Senate is still open after February 8. We love and need our Military and gave them everything - and more.

The accord drew opposition from opposite extremes of Congress' ideological spectrum, but not in sufficient numbers to threaten passage. Conservatives do not support a similar increase in domestic funding, and that has been at the heart of the budgetary impasse. But it represented a bitter defeat for many liberal Democrats who sought to use the party's leverage on the budget to resolve the plight of immigrant "Dreamers" who face deportation after being brought to the US illegally as children.

"They live and work here".

"What you're seeing is recklessness trying to be passed off as bipartisanship.[Leadership is] holding hands, and there's only one bad guy standing in the way". "Vote against the budget".

The White House's Office of Management and Budget said earlier in the evening it was preparing for a shutdown if the stopgap bill did not win passage on time in Congress.

He's angry over the new deal negotiated by congressional leaders that would bust the government budget caps that have been in place since 2013.

He is pointing to upcoming talks on immigration, writing, "Fortunately, DACA not included in this Bill, negotiations to start now!"

Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi highlighted the concerns Wednesday with an extraordinary eight-hour address, the chamber's longest in more than a century, in which she called on Ryan to take action on immigration. His spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, reiterated that the speaker would only bring up immigration legislation that the president supports.

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US Senate reaches two-year budget deal to avert govt shutdown