Senate reaches budget agreement-but House Dems still want action on DACA

Senate reaches budget agreement-but House Dems still want action on DACA

The legislation is expected to pass in the Senate, given the support of leadership.

The dollar rose on the deal, as did yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the chamber's top Republican, called the agreement a "significant bipartisan step forward" and suggested that it could help "make 2018 a year of significant achievement for Congress".

Votes from Democrats - possibly as many as 100 - would be needed to get the budget agreement passed in the House, because many Republicans are balking at the cost.

Defense spending would increase by $80 billion over current law in this fiscal year and $85 billion in the one that begins October 1.

Non-defense spending would rise by US$63 billion this year and US$68 billion next year. The deal was also praised by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The House did pass a continuing resolution on Tuesday, funding the government through March 23.

The Senate and House of Representatives have until midnight Thursday (0500 GMT Friday) to pass a stopgap spending measure and send it to the president for his signature, or risk a second shutdown in three weeks.

While Paul said he does not want a government shutdown, he spoke passionately for hours on the Senate floor Thursday evening as he tried to force a vote on an amendment that would effectively undermine the budget deal. Concerns over lack of movement on DACA is what triggered a three-day shutdown just weeks ago on January 20, as Senate Democrats objected to any bill without a legislative fix for DACA while the White House wanted other changes to immigration law in exchange for codifying DACA.

The budget bill would allow for US$165 billion in extra defence spending and US$131 billion more for non-military programs, including health, infrastructure, disaster relief and efforts to tackle an opioid crisis in the country.


"I would be very surprised if more than a couple of the Freedom Caucus members would vote yes", Meadows said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California announced she would oppose the budget measure unless her chamber's GOP leaders promised a vote on legislation to protect "Dreamer" immigrants.

The Democratic leader has dropped his push to use the budget talks to extract concessions on immigration from Republicans, leaving aside threats to shut down the government over the issue.

"That would be a complete betrayal", he told reporters, adding that "a lot" of Democrats would feel the same.

On Wednesday, McConnell restated his intention to start Senate floor debate on immigration reform, including a fix for DACA recipients. He noted that the bill is almost 700 pages long, nobody in the Senate has read it, and it will add more than a trillion dollars to the deficit.

On the other side of the aisle, staunchly conservative Republicans in the House are taking a hard stance against the budget bill due to the increase in domestic spending for programs they see as a waste.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Rep. William "Mac" Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, had argued for decoupling defense and non-defense spending.

Adds four years of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

The bipartisan compromise would provide the Pentagon and domestic programs with an extra $300 billion over the next two years.

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