Budget deal faces stiff opposition

Elias Hubbard
February 9, 2018

The core of the agreement would shatter tight "caps" on defense and domestic programs funded by Congress each year. "To me the main thing is funding the military".

The agreement would also provide $140 billion in war funding and $20 billion more for other emergency spending.

Details of the defense spending increases were not immediately available.

Senate leaders announced Wednesday they have sealed agreement on a two-year budget pact that would shower the Pentagon and domestic programs with nearly $300 billion above existing limits, giving wins to both GOP defense hawks and Democrats seeking billions for infrastructure projects and combatting opioid abuse. The bill would also provide long overdue disaster funding for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico months after hurricanes devastated homes, infrastructure and coastlines there. The same can not be said for the House, however, as more opponents are emerging from both sides of the aisle for varying reasons. "Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support".

But apart from the short-term implications, the two-year deal reached by senators, if backed by the House, may be a source of wider concern. At one point, she suggested lawmakers should "just pray all day".

McConnell and Schumer announced an agreement Wednesday to avoid a second government shutdown, but Pelosi says the immigration issue stands in the way. To become law, it would have to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by President Donald Trump.

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".

DACA is the Obama-era program that shields those immigrants from deportation.

But the real problem is that Democrats thought they were negotiating in good faith in a bipartisan way about DACA, only to have Trump pull the football away from them, twice.

On Tuesday, Trump injected uncertainty into the funding debate when he said he would "love" to see a shutdown if Democrats do not back his immigration demands.

There's more money for the military, more money for domestic programs, and of course, Mitch McConnell's promise that he'll allow a vote on an immigration bill in the Senate.

House Republicans were meeting Wednesday afternoon as the Senate leaders announced the deal.

The deal will require Congress to pass a stopgap spending bill for only a few weeks while lawmakers write the two-year spending legislation. Pelosi and other Democrats blasted that GOP proposal as a ruse to slash funding for domestic programs.

The measure, which was hammered out between the Republican and Democratic Senate leaders, is expected to pass the Senate, but it faces some stiff opposition from members of both parties in the House.

While the Senate has an agreement, that's not the case in the 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. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chair of the Freedom Caucus, came out early against the proposal, according to NBC News.

"We have reached a two-year budget deal that will benefit our country in so many ways", Schumer said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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