Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

The Hill: House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money

NATION-NOW     Democrats blew their chance for big 2018 midterm gains in tax fight     
       Dems blew their chance for 2018 gains in tax fight NATION-NOW Democrats blew their chance for big 2018 midterm gains in tax fight Dems blew their chance for 2018 gains in tax fight
Melinda Barton | 08 February, 2018, 16:17

The bill also raises the debt limit and extends funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for 10 years instead of the current six.

Senate leaders announced a bipartisan two-year budget agreement Wednesday that would provide almost $300 billion in additional funding, a step likely to avert a Friday government shutdown and end a monthslong impasse on spending priorities.

The two-year deal comes a day before the federal government is set to shutdown, which would be the second time this year if lawmakers do not approve the agreement.

Fiscal conservatives like the Freedom Caucus, have also indicated they will vote against the deal due to the increase in new government spending.

The latest deal also includes an increase in the federal debt limit, said Representative Chris Collins, Republican of NY, though Senate leaders did not immediately announce that piece of the agreement.

The bill will be sent to the Senate where Democrats are likely to reject or amend it and send it back to the House for another round of voting. "The budget deal doesn't have everything Democrats want, it doesn't have everything Republicans want, but it has a great deal of what the American people want".

If approved, the deal would fund the government for the next two years.

The deal placates Republican defense hawks by boosting spending for the military, lifting the spending cap put in place by the 2013 sequester agreement by $80 billion this year and $85 billion next year.

Lawmakers are trying to come up with a broader deal that would lift strict spending caps on defense and non-defense spending so that appropriators can start working on longer-term spending bills.

The new measure is expected to pass easily through the Republican-controlled Senate, however it faces a number of possible challenges in the House from members of both parties.

"This bill is the product of extensive negotiations", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said. "I'd love to see a shut down if we don't get this stuff taken care of. if we have to shut it down because the Democrats don't want safety. then shut it down".

This reinforces an important nuance that is lost on many outside of Washington, D.C. - Democrats in Congress are a powerful part of the negotiating process and are able to secure legitimate legislative victories despite not controlling the House, the Senate or White House. He added the bill will have an amendment process that's "fair to all sides".

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she will not support the package until Speaker Paul D. Ryan agrees on a deal to bring an immigration bill to the floor.

Pro-immigration Democrats pushed Pelosi to demand an open debate on immigration legislation rather than being forced to vote on a Republican-only proposal.

Since last summer, Congress has stumbled from one fiscal crisis to the next, unable to craft a long-term budget that could win 218 votes in the House, and 60 in the Senate.