Senators reach bipartisan accord on long-term spending deal

U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol

Like the House-passed short-term bill, the Senate measure would fund the government through March 23 while lawmakers fill in the details on longer-term spending.

Senate leaders, disregarding President Trump's threats to shut down the government, struck a far-reaching agreement on Wednesday that would set spending levels on military and domestic spending for the next two years, breaking the cycle of fiscal crises that have bedeviled the Capitol since last summer.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ignored bipartisan pleas by Senate leaders to not delay a Thursday vote on a massive government spending bill, with a deadline to keep the government open coming at midnight.

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.

"I can't in all good honesty and all good faith just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits", Paul said.

"We're in risky territory here", he said. A final vote would follow.

Senator Tim Kaine, (D) Virginia said, "He's the only guy that finds anything good in a shutdown".

Paul objected to each request. "I hope we can build on this bipartisan momentum and make 2018 a year of significant achievement for Congress, for our constituents and for the country we all love". "We are in an emergency situation".

It remained unclear whether any of the competing proposals would be able to win the 60 votes necessary to advance in the 100-member Senate, clear the House and earn Trump's backing.

Commenting on the deal was Donald Trump who did so in a tweet [VIDEO]sent out on February 7.

But the deal's fate in the House is far from certain. Rand Paul called out his fellow Republicans for "hypocrisy" in their budget plan after the GOP criticized President Barack Obama for adding to the USA deficit during his time in office.

However, the Senate deal does not resolve the issue of immigration, a key point for house Democrats.

At approximately 2:45 a.m. / 3 a.m. we anticipate all debate time will be yielded back and the Senate will move to a final passage vote on the CR / budget agreement, simple majority vote.

"This bill is the product of extensive negotiations among Congressional leaders and the White House".

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, said a budget deal is unacceptable without protection for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S.as children, who have been covered under the soon-to-end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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