House Sends Spending Bill To Keep Government Open To The Senate

12 Febrero, 2018, 02:14 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Several Republicans said they weren’t optimistic the extra defence spending could get through the Senate

Despite the frantic late-night sessions, lawmakers were still unable to avoid what was the second - albeit short-lived - government shutdown in less than a month.

The Senate's Republican and Democratic leaders unveiled a sweeping two-year budget agreement on Wednesday that would increase federal spending by more than $400 billion and could end the partisan spending stalemate that has consumed Congress for months.

"We don't need a government shutdown on this", said Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., whose district in the Washington suburbs is home to many federal workers. House Speaker Paul Ryan says he will bring to the floor an immigration bill that Trump supports.

"Now we have Republicans hand in hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits", Paul said.

The accord was announced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY.

The Republican-controlled House passed a 515-page stopgap bill on a largely party-line 245 to 182 vote Tuesday evening to keep government open until March 23.

The legislation also would authorize the energy department to make sales from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve, extend financing for community health care centers for two years and make modifications to medicare, such as repealing a payment cap for therapy services.

In the end, however, Democrats declined to hold the spending bill hostage over immigration.

The House narrowly passed the budget accord in the pre-dawn hours, ending a brief government shutdown and clearing a path for huge spending increases for both the Pentagon and domestic programs.

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Schumer and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the pact from the floor of the Senate.

According to Schumer, the deal would boost spending on healthcare programs, infrastructure and higher education.

"We had serious disagreements, but instead of just going to our own separate corners, we met in the middle and came together with an agreement that is very good for the American people and recognizes needs that both sides of the aisle proffered", Schumer said on the floor. Vice President Mike Pence, in South Korea for the Winter Olympics, said the administration was "hopeful" the shutdown would not last long. "Nobody wants another except him".

What exactly does raising the budget caps, or spending caps, mean? Nowhere in this deal are the $54 billion in spending cuts outlined in President Trump's budget.

"I'm pleased that this bill includes an additional $6 billion in funding over two years to help combat the opioid epidemic gripping OH and our country", Portman said.

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

The rebellion that simmered among Republicans and Democrats over the budget agreement boiled over when dogged Senator Rand Paul refused to allow the Senate to act expeditiously to pass the spending measure. The Obama-era initiative protects from deportation almost 700,000 unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors.

McConnell said he would structure a fair debate and votes on the several bills being negotiated by different bipartisan and Republican groups. The ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus formally took the position to vote against the plan, though a couple of members are expected to break off and vote for the deal.

"I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties".

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