US House passes stopgap spending bill to avert shutdown

US House passes stopgap spending bill to avert shutdown

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.

"This bill is the product of extensive negotiations among congressional leaders and the White House", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the Senate floor on Wednesday. "No one would suggest its ideal, but we worked hard to find common ground and stay focused on serving the American people".

Under Congress' arcane ways, a broad-brush agreement to increase legally binding spending "caps" - which would otherwise keep the budgets for the military and domestic agencies essentially frozen - would be approved, then followed by a far more detailed catchall spending bill that would take weeks to negotiate.

High-stakes votes in both chambers were expected on Thursday, when a deadline will arrive for Congress to approve a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown.

Lawmakers have been struggling to reach a deal on an immigration bill, despite broad public support for helping the Dreamers, hundreds of thousands of young Latinos who were allowed to study and work without fear of deportation under a program set up by former Democratic President Barack Obama.

"This really is the moment where it has become clear that despite record levels of debt and approaching trillion-dollar deficits, Congress has stopped caring about what they're doing to the fiscal health of the country", said Maya MacGuineas, head of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a group that advocates for long-term fixes to Washington's debt problems. House GOP appropriators unveiled the short-term spending bill, known as continuing resolution (CR), that would also fund the military at increased levels through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends September 30.

The plan waives mandatory spending cuts required under a 2011 budget law for two years, which allows for $300 billion in additional spending for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.

As they begin their retreat on Wednesday, a day before government funding expires, House Democrats are considering their options on the federal budget deal. Before it was announced, Republican members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus loudly panned the increased spending as fiscally irresponsible and warned it would add to burgeoning deficits.

With caution, take Nunes memo seriously
The panel is conducting one of several investigations into whether Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The FBI and Justice Department deny they've done anything wrong, and they opposed the public release of the memo.

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. Meanwhile, non-defense spending would grow by $63 billion this year, and $68 billion in the following one.

Do they give their support, given that there is increased funding for domestic issues like education and veterans affairs - a major victory considering Republicans ordinarily want to cut federal spending?

"This is a dead-end path that will cause great hardship to Americans", said Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala). A budget agreement would nearly certainly mean that many Democrats would support it, thereby guaranteeing that there wouldn't be another shutdown.

The $131 billion increase in non-defense spending would include $20 billion for infrastructure spending and $6 billion to fund the fight against opioids and mental health crises. Or, do they oppose it until Speaker of the House Paul Ryan provides a guarantee for an open debate on the state of the Dreamers?

The Senate still plans to vote on a standalone defense funding bill Wednesday. "I think it's the best deal we can get".

The White House later clarified that it did not expect the budget deal to include specifics on immigration. Trump is to release his second budget request on Monday, but the deal - sealed by members of his own party - would effectively render many of his demands null and void.

That was a turnaround from Tuesday, when Trump had said he would "love" a shutdown if he did not get his way on immigration.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been holding a fake filibuster of sorts, speaking since just after 10 a.m. Thursday morning on the House floor and telling the stories of people who came to the USA illegally as children, known as Dreamers.

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