Senate Reaches Two-Year Budget Deal in Hopes of Averting a Shutdown

Senate Reaches Two-Year Budget Deal in Hopes of Averting a Shutdown

As minority leader, Pelosi exercised her power to speak uninterrupted on the House floor for more than four hours - a speech that continued late Wednesday morning and focused nearly entirely on Dreamers.

House Democrats changed plans for their scheduled retreat in Cambridge, Md. this week to stay in D.C. and be on hand for the debate.

And she didn't stop until after 6 p.m.

If the deal passes, lawmakers would put together a long-term spending package over the coming weeks that would fund the government through September, granting a measure of peace to Washington as attention turns to the midterm elections in November.

The performance had no immediate impact on Republican leaders, who have not agreed to a vote.

The Senate and the House were both expected to vote on the proposed deal on Thursday. "What's wrong? There's something wrong with this picture", Pelosi said.

Meadows told MSNBC Wednesday that a bipartisan deal will draw "120 or 140 Democrats and maybe about the same on Republicans sending this to the president's desk".

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"I don't think that we expect the budget deal to include specifics on the immigration reform", she said.

Both Democrats and Republicans favor lifting the caps.

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, who is also a member of GOP Senate leadership, said he expected the plan to include a debt increase of one year, or until March 2019. In total the Bill will increase government spending by about $300 billion (€244bn) in the next two years.

A multi-year deal is something Mattis and other Pentagon officials have beseeched Congress for. Lawmakers in the upper chamber are negotiating a two-year deal to lift spending caps on both defense and domestic spending, which could be attached to the House-passed spending bill, in hopes of being able to dodge having to pass another continuing resolution.

The deal would increase defense spending almost $100 billion in 2018, a more-than-15 percent increase over 2017 base-plus-OCO spending.

Republicans and Democrats said they were making progress, however, on a budget deal that would set new, higher spending limits for defense and non-defense programs. It does not, however, include any immigration provisions, which the Democrats have been clamoring for.

Here is the issue: the Senate's Republican leader has vowed to allow votes starting next week on bipartisan Dreamer legislation. "And it should break the long cycle of spending crises that have snarled this Congress and hampered our middle class", Schumer said.

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Senate leaders reached across party lines to seal an agreement on a two-year budget deal. But it may require Ryan to give the same guarantee that Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave to the Senate Democrats: an open debate on legislation dealing with the Dreamers.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also appeared to confirm that 2018 spending would be in the rough area of $700 billion. Senate Democrats have grown more comfortable with McConnell's approach to the issue - a floor debate that won't be tilted in any one direction. It would also provide money for his border wall and curb legal immigration. The bottom line is this has an bad lot for Democrats to like, but perhaps more importantly, is extremely consequential for Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer's caucus. "I'm going to structure it in such a way that's fair to everyone", he said". The Treasury Department has warned that without an extension in borrowing authority by Congress, the government would run out of borrowing options in the first half of next month, risking default.

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and Chuck Schumer of NY, his Democratic counterpart, would raise strict caps on military and domestic spending that were imposed in 2011 as part of a deal with President Barack Obama that was once seen as a key triumph for Republicans in Congress. If lawmakers can not pass a temporary funding measure by the end of Thursday - either by itself or tied to a budget pact - the government would shut down for the second time this year.

The Senate's two top leaders have been nearing a bipartisan deal that would avert a shutdown, provide spending boosts for the Pentagon and domestic programs over the next two years.

In the Senate, McConnell has pledged to begin an open debate on the Senate floor to see if senators can find 60 votes there on a bipartisan immigration deal to determine the fate of people who were brought to the USA illegally as children.

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.

A long-term spending agreement had always been sought by military leaders, who have been warning Congress that a recent series of short-term funding bills were harming military readiness.

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With a Thursday night deadline looming, Congress is working to avoid another partial government shutdown.

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