Senate Leader Announces Two-Year Spending Plan to Avoid Shutdown

Pauline Gross
February 12, 2018

Trump tweets, "Just signed Bill". The bill's funding for the rest of the government would expire next month. "Republicans and Democrats must support our troops and support this Bill!"

Democrats won an additional $131 billion over two years in new funding for domestic programs - $63 billion for the remainder of this fiscal year, which began October 1, and $68 billion for fiscal year 2019. This stemmed from disputes over the extension of the status of persons affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy, and therefore whether those covered under the program should face deportation.

The deal reached this week was meant to draw support from all sides.

The temporary funding measure would also reauthorize funding for community health centers, which enjoy widespread bipartisan support.

He added that the accord includes a sizable disaster relief package that will help Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas recover from Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey a year ago.

Both sides got most of the spending they wanted: For the GOP, huge increases for the Department of Defense. for Democrats, a big boost for domestic agencies.

Legislation to increase the debt ceiling is always a headache, especially for House GOP leaders whose rank and file have in the past used the votes to register objection to deficit spending.

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.

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Since then, Trump has extended an immigration compromise with Democrats, going far beyond the "Dreamers" they want to protect and offering to provide a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal aliens.

"If we don't change it, let's have a shutdown". Trump is ending the program. And, according to Roll Call, House Democrats might look to use that leverage to demand that Speaker Paul Ryan commit to bringing up an immigration bill for debate on the House floor.

"We'll see. If they want to stay up until 3 a.m., I'm happy to do it for the fiscal solvency", he said.

House Republican leaders have come out with a plan to keep the government open for six more weeks while Washington grapples with a potential follow-up budget pact and, perhaps, immigration legislation.

The measure, aides said, also contains nearly $90 billion in overdue disaster aid and an increase in the government borrowing cap that would prevent a first-ever US government default on its obligations. There would also be new money to fight the opioid epidemic, fund mental health care, fix and rebuild veterans' health clinics and support new scientific research, he said. Instead, the Democrats prepared to cut a deal that would reap tens of billions of dollars for other priorities - including combatting opioids - while taking their chances on solving the immigration impasse later. "I've been calling on Congress to provide more resources for this cause, and this new funding will build on the additional resources provided through the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) and the CURES law".

The 600-page plan proposes an increase in spending, by about $300bn (£215bn), on defence and domestic services.

Taking to the Senate floor, Paul railed against government spending on everything from Afghanistan to misspent funds diverted from school lunch programs, saying both parties are, "spending us into oblivion". Richard Shelby, speaking to Slate, said the deal is "that close", holding up his thumb and index finger with roughly a centimeter of space separating them.

Other reports by GizPress

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