Shutdown less likely as Senate closes in on budget agreement

The Senate deal, if approved, would allow for $165 billion in extra defense spending and $131 billion more for non-military programs, including health, infrastructure, disaster relief and efforts to tackle an opioid crisis in the country.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants Speaker Paul Ryan to make her the same promise Mitch McConnell made Senate Democrats two weeks ago: a guaranteed vote on an immigration bill that addresses the almost 700,000 undocumented immigrants protected under the sunsetting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. "We worked hard to find common ground and remained focused on serving the American people".

The bill came as the result of a 2011 standoff over the USA debt ceiling, when Republicans in Congress demanded spending cuts in exchange for giving the Obama administration the needed legal headroom to pay the federal government's obligations to its bondholders.

Following months of shutdown fights and amnesty disagreements, leaders agreed to increase defense and domestic spending, while lifting the debt ceiling to March 2019.

"We're certainly happy with the direction that it's moving", press secretary Sarah Sanders said, adding that the White House would need to see the final components. Among other things, the bill would also provide two years of funding for the federal community health-center program. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY called the Senate agreement "a genuine breakthrough".

The only solution to the puzzle could be a broad, bipartisan agreement that increases both defense and nondefense spending though 2019 - a deal that has been in the works for months but has been repeatedly derailed by immigration and other issues.

Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMcConnell urging MS gov to appoint himself if Cochran resigns: report A pro-science approach to Yucca Mountain appropriations Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA MORE (R-Miss.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, urged his Senate colleagues to back the legislation noting that they need it to keep the government open.

The cuts were split 50-50 between defense and domestic discretionary spending.

Meadows' group backs big defence increases but opposes boosting domestic spending.

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But AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Ryan, said the Speaker has already committed to holding votes on immigration. The proposal also includes another $160 billion in "emergency" funds, which don't count against the spending caps, for additional military and domestic needs.

Tuesday night's 245-182 House vote, mostly along party lines, set the machinery in motion.

This reinforces an important nuance that is lost on many outside of Washington, D.C. - Democrats in Congress are a powerful part of the negotiating process and are able to secure legitimate legislative victories despite not controlling the House, the Senate or White House.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the chamber's second-ranking Republican, said he hopes a budget deal would include a provision to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.

The Senate agreement also contains nearly $90 billion in overdue disaster aid for hurricane-slammed Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. According to The Washington Post, defense spending would get an $80 billion per year boost over its current caps, and non-defense would get $63 billion more per year.

"I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of", Trump said at an event with law enforcement officials to discuss MS-13, a predominantly Latino gang whose members include undocumented 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. Trump is to release his second budget request on Monday, but the deal - sealed by members of his own party - would effectively render many of his demands null and void.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is likely to take up the House funding bill, even if it fails to meet a procedural hurdle needed to move forward.

Before Pelosi's speech Wednesday, the longest floor remarks from a leader came from then-House GOP Leader John Boehner in 2009 speaking against the Democrats' cap and trade legislation.

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