Thursday, 22 February, 2018

Senate deal would avoid shutdown as funding fight turns to House

Pelosi stages talkathon to push for vote for'dreamers Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Lillian Steele | 09 February, 2018, 05:21

But President Donald Trump still isn't ruling out a shutdown over immigration policy, saying Tuesday he'd "love to see a shutdown if we can't get this stuff taken care of".

Without that commitment from Ryan, Pelosi said, the package "does not have my support, nor does it have the support of a large number of members of our caucus". Ryan has said he will observe the so-called "Hastert Rule" of not calling any legislation that does not have the support of a majority of Republicans.

"The budget caps agreement includes many Democratic priorities", Pelosi said in a statement, including money to fight the opioid epidemic, disaster relief, and big increases for domestic as well as defense spending.

The proposed plan would suspend the federal debt ceiling and provide hurricane and wildfire disaster aid, according to a Republican summary of the deal.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the stories of "Dreamers" on the House floor for hours on Wednesday. But it may require Ryan to give the same guarantee that Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave to the Senate Democrats: an open debate on legislation dealing with the Dreamers.

"If you're against (Barack) Obama's deficits, but you're for the Republican deficits, isn't that the very definition of hypocrisy?" he boomed, adding that he wants his fellow lawmakers "to be uncomfortable".

On Tuesday night, the GOP-controlled House passed another stopgap bill to extend government funding through March 23.

The budget shortfall grew to $666bn last fiscal year because of higher spending on Medicare, Social Security and other programs for an ageing population. "And it should break the long cycle of spending crises that have snarled this Congress and hampered our middle class", Schumer said.

Representative Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, said a budget deal without protection for the young immigrants protected under the soon-to-end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme is unacceptable.

It would increase defense spending to appease Republicans, and boost domestic spending by almost as much to meet Democrats' demands, .

Defense hawks and moderate Republicans said it's a strong compromise that will provide a much-needed boost to the military.

The White House's Office of Management and Budget "is now preparing for a lapse in appropriations", an OMB official said on condition of anonymity, calling on lawmakers to get the measure to President Donald Trump's desk "without delay".

The House's top Democrat swung out against the latest plan.

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 Senate rejected that House-passed bill on Thursday and is expected to replace the short-term spending bill with the broader budget agreement later Thursday afternoon. The program, which began in 2012 under the Obama administration, grants work permits to approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants - also known as "Dreamers" - who came to the USA under the age of 16.

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