Thursday, 13 December, 2018

CORRECTED - House Speaker Ryan: House likely to pass US budget deal

Melinda Barton | 09 February, 2018, 09:20

GOP leaders pitched the plan to rank-and-file Republicans Monday evening at a closed-door meeting.

Provides disaster assistance for hurricanes and wildfires.

The dollar rose on the deal, as did yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

Earlier Thursday, the Senate voted to block a separate defense spending measure - that also included short-term federal funding - largely because it failed to fund domestic programs along with the military.

According to the congressional official familiar with the agreement, the plan includes US$20 billion for infrastructure over two years, including roads and drinking water. The limit on military spending would be increased by $80 billion in the current fiscal year and by $85 billion in the next year, which begins October 1, the aide said. It ends the risky sequester and gives Secretary Mattis what he needs to keep America Great.

In a vote of 245-182 on Tuesday night, the House passed a temporary spending bill to extend most government spending at current levels through 23 March while providing more funds for the Pentagon through 30 September, the end of the current fiscal year, reports Xinhua news agency.

Speaker Ryan did not do much to assuage Pelosi, saying through a spokesperson that he "has already repeatedly stated we intend to do a DACA and immigration reform bill - one that the president supports".

The White House endorsement came a day after Mr Trump said he would "love to see" the US government shutdown if there was no deal on immigration and funding for his proposed US-Mexico border wall.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday she would not support the Senate bill unless Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) makes a commitment to hold a vote on DACA.

Without that, "this package does not have my support nor does it have the support of large numbers of members of our caucus", she said.

"The budget deal doesn't have everything Democrats want; it doesn't have everything the Republicans want, but it has what the American people need", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Republican Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins voted in favor of the bill.

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.

"That would be a complete betrayal", he told reporters, adding that "a lot" of Democrats would feel the same.

The legislation being negotiated by Schumer and McConnell reportedly does not tackle the issue of immigration, over which Democrats shut down the government last month. He said it will start with essentially a blank slate and both Democrats and Republicans will be able to offer amendments for a vote.

The deal would repeal an Obamacare board charged with controlling health-care costs, which has always been criticized by Republicans.

The accord would suspend the federal debt ceiling, which was expected to be reached at the beginning of March, through March 2019 - and thus after the 2018 mid-term elections - and it would increase defense spending for Fiscal 2018 by $80 billion and for Fiscal 2019 by another $85 billion.

In addition, it would set aside $6 billion for funding opioid and mental health programs, including prevention and treatment initiatives. The deal also includes another stopgap measure to buy time for budget writers to flesh out the details of the two-year spending deal.