Senate Leaders Reach 2-Year Budget Deal

Senate Leaders Reach 2-Year Budget Deal

"We have to be strong as a country... to respect the aspirations of people who are our future", Pelosi said on the House floor.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took the unusual step of holding the House floor for more than two hours to talk about her opposition to a deal, announcing that she can not support the spending deal unless House Speaker Paul Ryan commits to an open immigration debate, with the opportunity for members to offer amendments. "It's going to need bipartisan support", Ryan said.

"We support funding our troops, but growing the size of government by 13 percent is not what the voters sent us here to do", the group said on Twitter Wednesday. The budget reportedly raises spending caps by $300 billion over two years, allocating $80 million to defense spending and $63 billion to non-defense spending for the upcoming fiscal year.

It also includes more than $89 billion in relief for states hit by a recent spate of hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

The budget agreement "does not have my support, nor does it have the support of a large number of members of our caucus", Pelosi said, as reported by AP.

Several Senate Democrats, including John Tester of Montana, said they were buoyed by the deal but wanted to study the details before signing on.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called the plan a "significant agreement" that gives both parties what they want.

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. "It lifts the spending caps for defense and urgent domestic priorities, so our armed forces, for the first time in a long time, well-funded, and so many things that affect middle-class New Yorkers will be well-funded as well".

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Schumer said the deal would extend the Children's Health Insurance Program for 10 years, four more than the extension Congress just enacted.

In a statement, he also said the agreement includes investments in infrastructure and resources to combat the opioid crisis, as well as almost $90 billion in disaster relief for hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and the US Virgin Islands.

In September, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The deal arrives after President Trump encouraged another shutdown if his hardline immigration demands were not met, but it appears that McConnell and Schumer are trying to keep the government chugging along, at least for the time being.

McConnell has promised Democrats he would allow a free-flowing Senate debate on immigration by February 8 and that he would not try to influence the outcome.

"I'm heartened that Congress recognizes the sobering effect of budgetary uncertainty on America's military and on the men and women who provide for our nation's defense", Mattis said during the White House briefing.

That bill also included a full-year of funding for defense spending.

The House passed a short-term spending bill Tuesday night aimed at keeping the government open.

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