Congress Closes In on a Big Deal to Bust Through Budget Caps

Frederick Owens
February 12, 2018

We love and need our Military and gave them everything - and more. "This budget deal will be the best thing we've done for our economy, our military, (and) our middle class for a long time".

The federal government has shut down after a quarreling Senate blew a midnight deadline to pass a temporary funding bill. Voting was delayed Thursday by Sen.

Mr Paul voted for the deficit-financed tax bill in December.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the agreement was "a genuine breakthrough" and addressed other Democratic priorities although Senate Democrats have shelved their strategy to use the budget fight to obtain immigration concessions and extend protections for the so-called Dreamers. "I didn't come up here to be liked", Mr Paul said.

"Like any compromise, neither side got exactly what it wanted in this deal", Sen.

That plan introduced significant funding and changes for healthcare initiatives and agencies, including funding for the National Institutes of Health, the opioid crisis, among other health initiatives, totaling nearly $20 billion.

If passed early Friday, the bill would then head to the House, where the deal's fate is far from certain.

It's a symptom of both an evolving economic climate and the political realities that governing parties face.

"When Republicans are in power, it seems there is no conservative party", Paul said during the debate. Rand Paul repeatedly held up votes on the budget plan, protesting its likely contribution to budget deficits that are soon to top $1 trillion.

Democrats won an additional $131 billion over two years in new funding for domestic programs - $63 billion for the remainder of this fiscal year, which began October 1, and $68 billion for fiscal year 2019.

The deal reached this week was meant to draw support from all sides.

As if that's not bad enough, this deal also includes $80+ billion in so-called disaster relief spending, cronyist tax extenders, an expansion of farm subsidies, and another suspension in the debt ceiling, conveniently timed to expire after the mid-term elections.

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"I don't know when we would have another opportunity that matches today" to lock Ryan into a commitment, Pelosi said.

"If we don't change it, let's have a shutdown".

"I think the United States of America is really getting close to some tipping point here, and we can't pussyfoot around", she said.

Senate leaders said that they do not want to shut down the government again and see little risk that it would occur.

The stopgap spending bill would keep the government open through March 23 to allow time to write and pass detailed follow-up "omnibus" legislation to fund the government through the September 30 end of the fiscal year.

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 late Thursday, calling on lawmakers to get the measure to Trump's desk "without delay".

Democrats did manage to get $6 billion in funding to deal with the opioid crisis and drug addiction, one of their key demands, and the package includes $20 billion in funding for infrastructure fix and improvement.

The agreement would also ensure funding for domestic priorities pushed by Democrats including disaster relief, health centres, and fighting a surging opioid epidemic. Non-defense spending would rise by $63 billion this year and $68 billion next year.

Portman has been a leader in the Senate advocating for additional funding and more tools to combat this epidemic.

The bill had been cleared by the US Senate in the early hours of Friday, too late to prevent a shutdown.

Speaker Ryan promises to work on an immigration measure. one that President Donald Trump can support. It will help us serve the veterans who have bravely served us.

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