Bipartisan Senate leaders reached an agreement Wednesday on a sweeping spending deal that would raise caps on military and domestic spending, increase the nation’s debt limit, fund disaster relief efforts around the nation and include long-term funding for community health centers.
Non-defence spending, such as a programme to provide health insurance for children, would reportedly increase by $63bn this year, and $68bn next year.
Pelosi pointed to a bipartisan bill by Reps. The bill would fund the government for two years.
The bill needs to pass the Senate and House of Representatives, where it is expected to face pushback. The Senate is slated next week to begin a debate to address the dilemma of immigrants left vulnerable by the looming expiration of former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. And having tried and failed to link progress on the budget to DACA during last month’s government shutdown battle, many Democrats aren’t spoiling for a repeat. Pelosi and other Democrats blasted that GOP proposal as a ruse to slash funding for domestic programs.
It would also extend the federal government’s debt ceiling until March 2019, defusing a contentious issue and putting off for more than a year the risk of a debt default, which had loomed next month.
With bipartisan support in the Senate, the plan should pass easily. It would increase non-defence domestic discretionary spending caps by $131 billion over current spending levels. The Pentagon will get an additional $80 billion this year and $85 billion next year, while domestic spending is increased by $63 billion this year and $68 billion next year.
Without that, “this package does not have my support nor does it have the support of large numbers of members of our caucus”, she said.
But she warned that her party would not support the deal without a promise from House speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a debate and vote on an immigration package, which would involve moves to include so-called “dreamers”- young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
The agreement is likely to be added to a stopgap spending bill that passed the House on Tuesday, aimed at averting a government shutdown Thursday at midnight.
At the same time McConnell was announcing the plan, House Speaker Paul Ryan was telling his members behind closed doors that the agreement has been reached, according to a member in the room. Mr Trump threatened on Tuesday to upend budget talks by saying he would welcome a government shutdown if Congress were not able to agree to changes in immigration law that he said would prevent criminals from entering the country. “At the same time, we reserve the right and the authority that if we feel like that they’re falling short on something that we promised or what’s best for our constituents, then we’ll throw a flag on it”. At the end of 2017, Republicans pushed through a tax-cut plan that added $1.5tn to the 10-year budget deficit.
He called his fellow Republicans the party of “big spending” and “big government”.
“I can not overstate the negative impact to our troops and families’ morale from all this budget uncertainty”, said Defense Secretary James Mattis at the daily White House briefing. That provision could help win support from lawmakers representing affected areas in California, Florida and Texas but further repel conservatives concerned about mounting federal spending. “Congress should reject this deal”, said Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst with the influential conservative Heritage Foundation.