McConnell, Schumer Strike 2-Year Budget Deal to Avert Shutdown
Feb 12 2018 by Lorena Waters
Cotton growers and dairy farmers would get relief courtesy of the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee, while popular funding for community health centers would be extended for two years, among myriad health provisions.
Senate leaders have reached a two-year budget deal which will remove some restrictions on domestic and defense spending, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, announced today. Current federal funding runs out at midnight on Thursday, and if Congress does not pass a new spending bill, it will trigger a partial government shutdown.
"Last month, Schumer's team was willing to force a government shutdown to enforce the broader party's insistence that DACA be a part of spending and budgeting deals".
Senate leaders in the USA have reportedly reached a two-year budget agreement to resolve a months-long impasse over spending levels.
"I am pleased to announce that our bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on defense spending and other priorities have yielded a significant agreement", McConnell said in his announcement.
The accord was announced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY. Both Democrats and Republicans have said they were making progress on a budget that would increase spending limits for defense and non-defense programs.
The bill is expected to clear the Senate comfortably, but face opposition in the House of Representatives.
To understand Wednesday's spending deal, go back to 2013, when then-President Barack Obama signed a bill that was a series of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts to government agencies, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
Eventually, the Senate voted for the bill and sent it to the House, where 67 Republicans in the GOP-controlled chamber voted against the plan.
The effort got a boost from President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening.
While Senate Democrats celebrated the rare moment of bipartisanship - Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it a "genuine breakthrough" - progressives and activists blasted them for leaving immigrants in limbo.
It also provides a massive $90 billion in disaster relief and funding to address the nationwide opioid abuse crisis.
It would stave off a government shutdown before a Thursday night deadline and extend the federal government's debt ceiling until March 2019, putting off for more than a year the risk of a debt default by the United States.
Paul took to the Senate floor several times Thursday and refused to agree to move up the time for a vote on the bill, which required unanimous consent from all senators.
"Left-wing U.S. news outlet ThinkProgress said Senate Democrats had pried a "$131bn increase for non-defense programmes" out of their Republican counterparts "in exchange for leaving out a key programme protecting about 800,000 undocumented immigrants". Aides on both sides are hopeful they can avoid it, but, well, the Senate is the Senate so contingency plans are available.
"We haven't asked our men and women in uniform to do less for our country".