The Senate's Blockbuster Spending Deal

Lawmakers are furtively working on another short-term spending agreement as a shutdown circles once more over the U.S. Capitol

Lawmakers are furtively working on another short-term spending agreement as a shutdown circles once more over the U.S. Capitol

Leaders in the U.S. Senate announced Wednesday they have agreed on a deal to increase the federal debt limit and boost investments in military and domestic programs, including efforts to address the opioid epidemic.

House Republicans have always expected that they would need some Democrats to help pass the spending bill and the growing revolt has sparked serious anxiety that the spending agreement could fail.

The deal, announced Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, would bump spending for both defense and nondefense programs while also fulfilling various policy goals from both sides of the aisle.

"Why can't we let people that are doctors and lawyers and people that are nurses and people that are in the armed forces stay?"

Although Schumer and the White House are optimistic toward bipartisanship, many Republican and Democratic lawmakers warn about the precedent the budget sets.

"I don't advocate for shutting the government down, but neither do I advocate for keeping it open, and borrowing a million dollars a minute", Paul said on the Senate floor, as he repeatedly denounced the plan, which he said would create huge amounts of new deficit spending.

United States congressional leaders said on Tuesday they were close to clinching an elusive budget deal that would keep government open - despite President Donald Trump calling for a shutdown if he does not get his way on immigration.

"After month of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough", Schumer said. "And it should break the long cycle of spending crises that have snarled this Congress and hampered our middle class", Schumer said.

The House of Representatives voted Tuesday for a continuing resolution to keep the government open through March 23.

Federal debt ceiling would be suspended until March 2019.

The bill will also include at least $80 billion in disaster relief spending for victims of hurricanes and wildfires in Texas, California, Florida and Puerto Rico.

It's official: Rob Porter has left the White House after allegations about him abusing his ex-wives were made public this week. A senior congressional aide said this would not be offset by any spending cuts or new tax revenue, meaning an increase in the federal deficit. The deal also suggests the extension of children's insurance program for ten years instead of the current six.

The move still depends on the House, though, which first needs to vote to pass the budget deal negotiated in the Senate and fund the government.

It would increase the government's borrowing cap to prevent a first-ever default on U.S. obligations that looms in just a few weeks.

Immigration again emerged as a possible point of contention, putting the budget deal in jeopardy.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opposes the legislation because it does not provide protections for the more than 800,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

"I'd love to see a shutdown if we can't get this stuff taken care of", he said in reference to immigration.

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