Senate Leaders Reach Budget Deal After Months of Government Shutdown Threats


Aside from the two-year deal, lawmakers were also trying to reach agreement by Thursday to avoid a shutdown and fund the government until March 23.

Congress is poised to blow past a deadline to avert a government shutdown after Sen. The budget reportedly raises spending caps by $300 billion over two years, allocating $80 million to defense spending and $63 billion to non-defense spending for the upcoming fiscal year.

The deal also extends the federal government's debt ceiling until March 2019, putting off for more than a year the risk of a debt default. House Republicans now need more Democrats to agree to the bill and while some Democrats will likely vote for the bill, there are now reports of uncertainty. "Republicans and Democrats must support our troops and support this Bill!" Rand Paul, who delayed the passage of the bill by calling a vote on an amendment he proposed to prove that the planned $300-billion hike violated the government's commitment to rein in federal spending.

Ryan, for his part, reiterated Thursday that he will not bring any immigration bill to the floor unless it already has President Trump's blessing. "No one would suggest it is ideal, but we worked hard to find common ground and stay focused on serving the American people", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in announcing the agreement. As of Thursday afternoon, it's not clear if there are enough Republican votes to pass it in the House, meaning some Democrats would have to vote for it to reach a simple majority, a fact Ryan alluded to.

There is now a bipartisan spending bill on the table.

Paul said he wasn't pushing for a government shutdown.

"I'm afraid the numbers will get so high and the debt ceiling will get added and it will be a Christmas tree of spending - that a lot of votes will be bought", Rep. Mark Meadows said earlier Wednesday. The cloture vote on that is expected to be Thursday, at which point they'll strip the House language, and replace it with the Senate language.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi ended an eight-hour speech aimed at forcing a House vote on protections for young immigrants known as "Dreamers" late Wednesday.

Pelosi says she hopes the House follows the Senate's example and takes up an immigration bill.

Conservative Republicans are also in opposition because of the major increases to domestic spending. "In addition to helping our military and #Veterans, this bipartisan agreement will provides funding for disaster relief efforts".

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate Republican in the Senate, said she's optimistic.

What's noticeably missing is a legislative solution addressing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the program established under President Barack Obama's administration.

"We have to be strong as a country... to respect the aspirations of people who are our future", Pelosi said on the House floor. The Senate will vote on the bill on Wednesday morning.

The measure does not include anything about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program, which protects from deportation numerous almost 800,000 immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents as children.