Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Senate budget deal would add hundreds of billions in federal spending

Patty Aguilar | 08 February, 2018, 15:17

The Senate's deal funds the government for the next six weeks and raises federal budget caps for two years, with the increase divided nearly equally between defense and domestic spending.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the agreement was "a genuine breakthrough" and addressed other Democratic priorities although Senate Democrats have shelved their strategy to use the budget fight to obtain immigration concessions and extend protections for the so-called Dreamers.

Since the sequester, there have been two bipartisan deals to raise the caps - the first in 2013, and the second in 2015.

"We came together with an agreement that is very good for the American people", Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said.

The budget deal got a positive review from the White House.

The deal would also increase nondefense spending limits by approximately $63 billion in FY 2018 and about $68 billion in the next fiscal year.

The package would boost USA government spending on national defense and domestic programs by $300 billion over a two-year period, ending years of mandatory budget caps Republicans argued were hollowing out America's military and Democrats said were harming the needy. If the spending numbers are agreed to, lawmakers could concentrate on tackling other issues like immigration and infrastructure rather than careening from one budget crisis to the next.

In September, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The deal would add $500 billion in federal spending - for both defense and non-defense spending.

Connolly predicted that more than the 45 Democrats who voted for the February 8 CR that ended a three-day government shutdown will back the budget deal but if Ryan needs significantly more votes - and he may because of GOP defections - he will have to offer Democrats something.

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"You've made the stakes (about) are we going to get to go home on time and have a budget completed, rather than if this is a good idea or not for the people of the state of Florida?" he said.

Several Senate Democrats, including John Tester of Montana, said they were buoyed by the deal but wanted to study the details before signing on.

The White House plan, which would put 1.8 million immigrants on a path to citizenship, boost border security, and dramatically curtail legal immigration, has been panned by Democrats.

Some House Republicans don't like it because of its large increase in federal spending and its potential effects on the deficit and debt.

That introduced doubts as to whether the plan could pass in House, where prominent GOP conservatives are also opposed to the higher spending.

Congress has to reach a deal before government funding runs out at midnight on Thursday, when a one-month spending bill is set to expire.

The deal would increase federal spending by at last $300 billion over the next two years, including military spending by $80 billion this year and $85 billion next year.

"We're hopeful that we'll go ahead and attach those numbers to this, fund the military, not hold it hostage and allow it to come back and have a fairly easy bipartisan vote here in the House", Mark Meadows, the Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said.

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