Thursday, 22 February, 2018

House sends spending bill to keep government open to the Senate

The Latest: Senate leaders announce 2-year budget deal Senate leaders reach bipartisan budget deal
Melinda Barton | 09 February, 2018, 05:15

"We'll do a shutdown and it's worth it for our country".

In addition to long-term military funding, the bill would allocate $131 billion to civilian programs, including $20 billion for infrastructure programs such as rural broadband, clean water, and roads.

The deal also provides nearly $90bn for disaster relief efforts in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, which have been hard-hit by hurricanes in the past year.

Congress has relied on short term spending bills, or continuing resolutions, to fund the federal government this past fiscal year, but the deal would put an end to that through fiscal year 2019.

House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stated prior to McConnell's announcement that she won't support passing the budget bill, and encourages others to do the same.

"I am pleased to announce that our bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on defense spending and other priorities have yielded a significant agreement", McConnell said in his announcement. Speaking to the New York Times, Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said, "It was pretty much a smorgasbord of spending and policy that got added to this ... normally, people who eat at smorgasbords all the time are not the healthiest". "I urge every Senator to review this legislation and join in voting to advance it", McConnell said.

The Democratic leader has dropped his push to use the budget talks to extract concessions on immigration from Republicans, leaving aside threats to shut down the government over the issue.

Bipartisan Senate leaders reached an agreement Wednesday on a sweeping spending deal that would raise caps on military and domestic spending, increase the nation's debt limit, fund disaster relief efforts around the nation and include long-term funding for community health centers.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday announced a bipartisan agreement on a budget that would boost federal spending by $400 billion or more over two years.

Lawmakers intend to combine the two-year spending deal with a short-term measure to keep the government operating when current funding runs out at the end of the day Thursday.

All eyes are on House Democrats, many of whom have demanded a replacement for the soon-to-expire Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in the next must-pass spending bill.

The temporary spending bill under consideration incorporates the major budget deal struck Wednesday between Senate leaders on both sides of the political aisle.

Sanders says it will move the White House away from "crisis to crisis budgeting".

But any changes to the measure mean the House will need to approve legislation before midnight on Thursday (Feb 8) to avoid any government shutdown.

Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMcConnell urging MS gov to appoint himself if Cochran resigns: report A pro-science approach to Yucca Mountain appropriations Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA MORE (R-Miss.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, urged his Senate colleagues to back the legislation noting that they need it to keep the government open.